I'm looking at a picture saying "Detroit Fire Engine Company 22", and it looks like a fire station. But is it ? For me "fire engine company" refers to a company making fire prevention stuff like extinguishers. Have you any idea ?

Thank you

1 Answer 1


You are splitting it up in the wrong place. It is a "Detroit Fire Engine" used by "Company 22". A fire company is "a company of firefighters", so this is a fire engine used by the firefighters in Company 22.

  • 4
    I suspect that in this instance Fire Engine Company is the intended construction: a company of firefighters which uses and maintains a fire engine. Apr 14, 2016 at 11:07
  • 1
    Company - "a body of soldiers, especially the smallest subdivision of an infantry battalion, typically commanded by a major or captain." Derives from a similar place no doubt?
    – Andy Gould
    Apr 14, 2016 at 11:08
  • @StoneyB: Could you possibly provide a link with a definition? Looking up definition "fire engine company" isn't coming up with anything.
    – zondo
    Apr 14, 2016 at 11:10
  • 2
    @zondo I wouldn't expect this to be entered anywhere as a distinct 'headword', any more than tank battalion or stealth bomber squadron. You're quite right that company here designates a body of men rather than a commercial firm. Apr 14, 2016 at 11:18
  • google.com/…
    – TimR
    Apr 14, 2016 at 12:13

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