Didja Home Overview of the sections Read/download a "pdf" version Acknowledgments

Summary abstract

Most every child has aspirations of becoming a fireman at some point in their lives.  The thrill of running after the engines as they race down the street, the natural curiosity that children have towards fire, and the desire to emulate the brave heroes who rescue individuals from the clutches of danger, all help contribute to the firefighter's allure. Historically, children have enjoyed special relationships with firefighters, acting as their assistants, mascots, devoted admirers, and as recipients of their heroics.

The fascinating relationships between firefighters and children, and in a broader sense between the fire service and popular American culture
is the subject of "Didja Ever want to be a FIREMAN?" a thesis paper written by David Lewis, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Arts degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies. 

Nearly 150 pages in length, and divided into five sections, the paper contains hundreds of photographs, and first person quotes. You are welcome to read an overview of each section and then view or download a version of the complete Didja paper for your own personal use and enjoyment.

For now this body of research is just a paper, yet plans are underway to bring this topic to life in the form of a traveling museum exhibition. Watch this website for more information.

If you have any questions or comments,
you are encouraged to contact the author.

David Lewis
e-mail: dlewisarfm@aol.com