A few engravings from Harpers Weekly 1872 documenting the great Boston Fire, in which over a quarter of the city burned down - coming only second in damage to the Chicago Fire the previous year. A tragedy in number of lives lost, and immense loss of 17th century architectural heritage. The city’s first church, dating back to 1630, was lost in this time. Efforts to save Old South Church and others were mostly successful- one must remember this was in a time before widespread fire hydrants and powerful fire engines. The hoses were not powerful enough to reach the flames on the upper mansard roofs where they raged. The city was almost defenseless. This in combination with a plague that stuck the city’s workhorses just before this coalesced into a series of unfortunate circumstances. Engines had to be pulled by teams of 10 in order to get them to the fires. Fire insurance companies boomed across the country in wake of these two disasters, which gave rise to the Sanborn maps of typographical popularity.