Engine Company 6 traces its roots back to 1756 when it was organized as a bucket brigade on Crown Street, now known as Liberty Street. After several reorganizations, locations, nicknames, and a bitter rivalry with Engine Company 1, Engine 6 was disbanded in 1846.
The company was reorganized in 1846 as “Americus” and elected William “Boss” Tweed of Tammany Hall as its first foreman. By this time Engine No. 6 was popularly known as “Tiger” due to a tiger’s head painted as part of the decoration on the back of the engine. Thomas Nast later used the tiger in his political cartoons as a symbol for Tammany Hall. The company also adopted the tiger as its symbol.
Engine Company 6 was located in various places in lower Manhattan until it found its current home at 49 Beekman Street. Due to its proximity to the World Trade Center, the engine had a specially built pump that could push water to the top of the 110 story towers. Engine 6 was a first responder on September 11 and hooked into a Trade Center standpipe on West Street. The collapse of the North Tower destroyed the pumper.