Barney Loughlin, FRC friend, has passed away

May 1st, 2017

It is with great sadness that FRC informs you that a long time friend of FRC, Bernard (Barney) M. Loughlin, has passed away. Barney was one of the Great Generation, a World War II veteran, a 74 year member of his local fire department and proud of his Irish heritage. Barney was so much more than these simple facts to a great many people but here we’ll try to relate his history with FRC which goes back to the very first Fire Research product advertised in 1968.

At that time Barney, a Sayville firefighter, was struggling to establish a printing business. One of his projects was a monthly magazine aimed at volunteer firefighters called Smoky. Barney once joked later that Smoky didn’t have much of a chance to succeed given that many firefighters of that time couldn’t read. The magazine was well written and covered a wide range of topics relevant to the fire service from recent fires to legislative actions and of course it included advertisements by local businesses.

Jack McLoughlin, the founder of Fire Research (and no relation to Barney) was working to establish Fire Research and was operating out of his basement. He called up Barney to place an ad for one of his new inventions in the next issue of Smoky. Neither of them wanting the other to know how meager their respective businesses were at the time they each happily agreed to meet at a diner in Barney’s town of Sayville, NY. That meeting at the diner wouldn’t be the last as Jack and Barney formed a friendship which would continue for nearly 50 years.

The very first advertisement for a Fire Research product appeared in the July, 1968 issue of Smoky for a Fire Research Preconnect Sensor and is prominently displayed on the back page of the magazine. This wasn’t the only Fire Research product in that issue, either. While it isn’t credited to Fire Research, there is an extensive article in the issue about a pump simulator then just installed at the local fire training academy which is easily recognized as an early Fire Research product. A last connection to Fire Research is found in the back of the magazine as an advertisement for an MC Products (yes, the “MC” is from McLoughlin) water level gauge which you might not have known was also invented by Jack.

Barney was also an inventor in his own right and as a volunteer firefighter he was driven to invent devices that would make that vocation safer. His Ladder Beacon and Safety Beacon were strobe lights designed to be mounted on a ladder tip or used to spike or chock open a door and provide a means of signalling the location of the exit. Barney attended fire shows for many years demonstrating his devices and often shared booth space (and occassionally a hotel room!) with Fire Research. Fire Research engineering was involved in some of the re-designs of his products over the years, and Fire Research technicians and assemblers were sometimes involved in their production.

Hearing his name today, most folks who knew him will immediately think of Loughlin Vineyard. What many once considered a folly became a viable business over the years. During the period of the vineyard’s humble beginnings Fire Research’s company picnic was held there. Nate remembers giving the kids tractor rides on Barney’s Ford 8N and some may remember Barney’s horse and donkey (both now buried near the barn). Barney and Jack later collaborated for several years on a special Fire Research wine which many in the industry may remember as bottles of it were often given out around Christmas time. Many Fire Research employees fondly remember helping Barney pick grapes around harvest time.

Attached find a copy of an article about the vineyard which ran in the New York Times Sunday June 26, 1994
and Barney’s obituary in Newsday, Sunday, April 30, 2017 pg. A15



This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017 at 9:37 am and is filed under announcements. There are 3 Responses to “Barney Loughlin, FRC friend, has passed away” :
Peggy mckeever Says:

A beautiful tribute to a special friend……jack McLoughlin will certainly miss his long time friend.

Richard Fix Says:

Barney was a very special person not only to Jack but to his extended family at FRC. Myself and my family have great memories from the trips out to his winery and listening to the adventures that he endured during World War II.
He will be missed and remembered by the whole FRC family both present and past.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Barney’s family and his special brother “Jack McLoughlin”

RIP Barney

Frede Schaefer Says:

Barney was a fixture at FRC. I am saddened to hear of his passing. What I remember most about Barney is the twinkle in his eyes and the that smile he always had that made you think he was up to something.

Rest-in-Peace Barney.

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