Engine 258's patch shows their organization date as 1891, which is the year that they were organized as a career company in the Long Island City FD.
How do companies determine their organization date? By the date they became part of FDNY?; or the date they became a career company in any predecessor department?; or the date they came into existence as volunteers?
Does Engine 15 go back to 1865?; or to Americus Engine 6 in 1854?
Does Engine 201 go back to FDNY 1898?; or to Brooklyn FD 1869?; or Putnam Engine 21 before?
Does Engine 293 go back to 1915 as 293?; or to Hose 2 in 1907? (both career, both FDNY)
Does Engine 328 go back to 1939 as 328?; or to Engine 264-2 in 1923?
Does Engine 326 go back to 1984 in Queens?; or 1939 in Brooklyn?; or to Engine 245-2 in 1913?
What about interrupted histories?
Engine 294 and Engine 295 both go back to 1915. But E294 was out of service for 6 years (1975-1981) and then for 3 more years (1991-1994). If 295 is 103 years old, how old is 294?
Engine 4 goes back to 9-8-1865 and Engine 5 goes back to 9-25-1865. But Engine 4 did not exist between 1947 and 1984? Which anniversary is it for each company?
How old are they? What do they put on their anniversary banner?
It is just like people who are born on February 29th. They are just as old as people born on February 28th or March 1st, only they have had fewer birthdays. But it probably makes for an interesting discussion around the kitchen table.