Last evening the Annual Ball of the New-York Fire Department took place at Niblo's Theatre. The affair was a most brilliant one; the stage being crammed with dancers, indeed, almost too much so, as the votaries of Terpsichore were jostling against each other. But notwithstanding these great disadvantages the light fantastic toe was tripped till an early hour this morning, by those, as Mr. Swiveller says, who delight in the "mazy." 

The Theatre itself was most prettily and tastefully decorated, and added greatly to the brilliancy of the scene. Both the boxes and family circle were festooned with flowers. On each side of the procenium was draped the Stars and Stripes. At the back of the stage was a brilliant illumination. In the centre was the inscription, "The New-York Fire Department." Underneath was all the paraphernalia of a fireman, represented by jets of gas. The whole was surmounted by a magnificent American Eagle. 

The Ball of the Fire Department, it is not too much to say, is decidedly, at present, the success of the season. (The New York Times, January 21, 1862.)

A ball in a typical New England town hall, Nahant, MA.