Friday, January 10, 2014

The Hall of Flame -- Part 2

We continue our walk around Gallery 1 of the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting in Phoenix.
Hunneman Hand Drawn Fire Engine, American, 1852

The Hunneman Company maintained a staff of several artists and painters to decorate their engines. The volunteer companies took delivery of their rigs with a simple coat of paint and contracted with a local carriage maker to decorate the engine.
William Hunneman, an apprentice of Paul Revere, began to manufacture his distinctive pumpers in 1790. His designs became very popular in New England. Over 1000 were built--few after 1880 because of the growing popularity of steam engines.
The Museum's restorer used photos of other Hunnemans to restore this engine whose original paint and decorations had been removed.
Gleason & Bailey Hand Drawn Parade Carriage, American, 1889

For many years after its invention in 1807, riveted leather hose was an expensive part of a fire department's inventory. Only the wealthiest volunteers could afford to organize hose companies, and they commissioned fire apparatus builders to make elaborate carriages to carry the hose.
By 1870, inexpensive cotton and canvas hose was replacing the leather variety, and practical, but plain, hose carts were the norm.
Not to be deprived of their beautiful carriages, hose companies ordered even more highly decorated and extremely expensive versions of the old carriages, intended only for use in parades or at ceremonial occasions.
Lewis Tompkins, patron of the Fishkill on Hudson, New York Volunteer Hose Company, bought this carriage for display at parades, musters, and fairs.
This was a magnificent carriage.

W.W. Wunder Hose Carriage, American, ca. 1865

Competition between hose companies in a city fire department led them to build rigs like this, an attractive but functional carriage with a reel capacity of between 300 and 500 feet of 2-1/2 inch hose.
This carriage, lavishly decorated with nickel plating and mirror siding for the hose reel and tool bins, was built for the Active Hose Company of Philadelphia.
Retired volunteers probably pulled it in parades in the years after 1870 when the department switched from volunteer to paid firefighters.

Fire hydrants served as anchors for the chains that marked the walkways around the exhibits.
Buckley & Merritt Hand Drawn Parade Carriage, American, 1870

Although patterned after a working hose carriage, this piece has no purpose beyond its elegance and beauty.
It was built as a source of pride for the firemen of the Hotchkiss Hose Company of Derby, Connecticut.

Horse Drawn Aerial Truck, American, 1890

The first ladder trucks were called "aerials."
Horse Drawn Rotary Sweep Pumper, American, 1882

Very few of this model of the Howe rotary pumper were purchased; this is one of the surviving few.
Phoenix Fire Department Chemical Engine, ca. 1890

It was intended as a quick attack rig (using chemicals to attack the fires before the arrival of pumpers), so its two tanks were usually adequate.
It has the same capacity tanks as the Steiner engine (below), but its tanks cannot be easily refilled.

Steiner Horse Drawn Chemical Engine, American, 1872

The rig uses a pair of chemical tanks and is probably one of a kind. No other chemical engines copied Steiner's design.
Shand Mason Stream Pumper, English, ca.1890

Used by the town of Rugby, this is a good example of an English steam engine. The rig was designed to carry an entire engine company. A crew sat back to back atop the hose but directly behind the driver.

"Metropolitan" Steam Fire Engine, American, 1904

Built by the Ahrens shops in Cincinnati by the American Fire Engine Company for the city of Reno, Nevada. A large engine for its day, it could pump 750 gallons per minute.
But there were still a couple of stops to make.