Bureau of Standards fire test of steel furniture album

About this collection

    In 1901, Congress founded the National Bureau of Standards, known since 1988 as the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It is a non-regulatory agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce created "to establish an authoritative domestic measurement and standards laboratory."
    In 1926, the Bureau’s Fire Resistance Division burned down two condemned brick buildings in Washington D.C. to study the results. This action was likely the first full-scale fire test ever conducted. The data gathered during these fires was compared against theoretical time-temperature curves that were used at the time, and was eventually used to create uniform fire resistance standards for buildings.
    This photograph album with explanatory captions documents "a test made with steel office furniture to obtain information on the intensity and duration of fires in buildings." Images show the aftermath of a fire test in an office with furniture supplied by the National Association of Steel Furniture Manufacturers. Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.
    Image: Trial #4, Wood floor after slow start. ca. October 30, 1926. Click here to view this item in the collection.

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