John Wilson Prayer, African American Fireman, Los Angeles, Snapshots

Photographic archive of John Wilson Prayer, a Black firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department, n.d., circa 1931-1940s. Includes 13 images, 2 (2 x 2.5 in.); 7 (3.5 x 5.75 in.); one (2.75 x 7 in.); one (2.5 x 4.5 in.); one (2.5 x 3.5 in.) and one (2.5 x 3 in.). Images include candid and posed shots including several of Prayer in uniform, often with other firefighters. One image shows three men, two in uniform, with manuscript labels "Jack - Lew - Cap. Taylor." Another shows a fire truck driving down the street with seven brigade members visible. 

John Wilson Prayer was appointed in 1931 to the Los Angeles Fire Department which was then segregated. The Los Angeles Fire Department hired its first Black member, George W. Bright, on October 2, 1897. The Department, however, remained segregated until 1956 with the African American stations serving Black communities. Prayer is identified as part of Truck Co #30 in an inscribed note on the verso of one image. Prayer became the youngest African American fire Captain in Los Angeles in July 1940.



Most in good or better condition. A couple have "sun streaks" in the image, as taken by an amateur photographer.

Estimate: $400 - $600
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