Several postcard views of a large fire are quite possibly from the October 5, 1904 fire at National Refining Company’s Findlay, Ohio refinery. Several newspaper accounts describe a fire, started by a lightning strike of an oil storage tank and spreading to three other tanks (see postcards). Public schools were dismissed and nearby buildings evacuated. A shift in the wind the following day “was all that saved the west part of this city from destruction by fire.” The newspaper articles reported that there were no fatalities, but that several people were burned.
One of the postcards has a 1906 copyright by Thomas & Co. of Findlay and on the reverse of two of the others, the same company is printed. As is common with early postcards, other nearby towns captioned the postcard: Lima and North Baltimore. The North Baltimore postcard was “published by B.J. Hughes, North Baltimore, Ohio.” The Lima version was also published by Thomas & Co. Of the three which are postmarked, the earliest postmark is November 22, 1906. If these postcards do depict the 1904 fire, perhaps Thomas & Company waited over a year to create the postcards.