Is This 1926 Fire Department Footage The First “Dashcam” Video Ever Made?


Dashcam footage is considered to be a modern-day trend, coinciding with the wider availability of great handheld cameras able to capture footage at high speeds and the growth of video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo.

However, this recently released short video from 1926 that was languishing in the archives of the Fire Department of New York shows what might just be the very first dashcam video ever made!

It shows a borough department responding to a fire and in the first of two silent videos that were released – the camera is mounted to the vehicle carrying Fire Chief John Kenlon from the Brooklyn Fire Department to a blaze at a storage warehouse on East 123rd Street.

The footage shows the vehicle complete with clanging bell at the front dodging in and out of some heavy traffic. I especially love the title card that appears about 46 seconds into the video that states; ‘BAD TRAFFIC JAMS FORCE USE OF SIDEWALKS.’ Then you get to see the courageous driver darting on and off the sidewalk, taking care not to squish pedestrians in the mad dash to get to the scene of the fire! If Formula 1 had been about back then, I reckon this driver would have been a champion for sure!

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About Sheniz Raif

I am, and think I have always been, a writer. I’ve been scribbling stories since I was old enough to hold a pen and thoroughly enjoy using my words to make people laugh or inspire them. I love going to gigs and am a professional groupie for a couple of awesome bands. I am an avid fan of socializing, football, film, and refusing to grow up! I’m also a proud member of the BODO UK team!