Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was founded in 1873 as a railway employees' union, similar in purpose to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers formed ten years before. It numbered more than 25,000 locomotive firemen on Canadian, Mexican, and American railways, pays sick benefits at the option of local lodges, and death benefits by means of mutual assessments throughout the Brotherhood. There was a women's auxiliary for women only.
Though it suffered losses in consequence of the inroads made upon it by the American Railway Union in the years 1893-95, it had a couple of years later a large increase in membership and material prosperity. Since 1880, when the life and disability feature was adopted, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen has paid nearly $4,000,000 in benefits. The teachings of its ceremonial of initiation are charity, industry, sobriety, and protection.
The organization changed its name to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen
and Enginemen (BLF & E) after permitting engineers to join its ranks. In
1969, the union merged with the Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen, the
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and the Switchmen's Union of North America to
form the United Transportation Union.
Ritual of the B.L.F. & E.