In 2010, NFPA’s peer reviewed Journal Fire Technology celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Bigglestone award: given by the Foundation for the best paper in each annual issue. These twenty five award winning papers represent a significant contribution to the advancement of the state of the art of fire safety research and engineering. Eight original award winning authors responded to our invitation to submit a retrospective on the topic addressed in their original paper. Like Fire Technology itself, the papers cover a broad range of fire protection engineering and research subjects, reflecting on advances in the science and practice since the time the paper was written. These papers are available through Springer On-Line Open Access until July 31.