Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Illustrious David Scannell

This is a bust of David Scannell, who had been an early San Francisco Sheriff, as well as one of the first Chief Engineers (the old term for Department Chief) of the San Francisco Fire Department. Scannell was a pretty interesting guy and was much loved by the people of San Francisco. 

While doing some research, we found a funny story about him.

Apparently in 1887, Queen Kapi'olani and Princess Lili'uokalani of Hawaii made a trip the Bay Area to visit family and to look at San Francisco's firefighting equipment. Chief Engineer Scannell had fought a fire early that week in which an acid explosion had turned his hair green (?!). So, in anticipation of the royal family's arrival, he wore a derby hat to hide his weird hair color. However, as a proper Victorian gentlemen, he bowed when they entered, and removed his hat, momentarily forgetting the reason why he had the hat on in the first place. Embarrassed, he quickly replaced it, forgot what he was supposed to say and stammered an apology-- which greatly amused the Queen!

(There is a nice account of the Queen's visit here: