Call the Fire Department!
Peter Piper’s Tales. Danger of Fire. Albany: Richard H. Pease, 1844-1847.
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This is a rare lithographed picture book issued by Albany book and toy seller Richard H. Pease; he generally used wood engravings, which were less expensive to produce. This text is a set of cautionary poems about the dangers of playing with fire. In this case, the obstinate Margaret threw some lighted scraps of papers on the floor, which wound up setting the house on fire, destroying her father’s savings, and disfiguring Margaret. Given the lack of house insurance and the dependence upon open fireplaces for heat, these grim poems conveyed life lessons that needed to be learned if children were to survive into adulthood intact.