Rumsey Hand Drawn PumperAmerican. Ca. 1865.
Acquired 1960. This village pumper was used by the Badger Volunteer Fire Company of Centerville, Wisconsin. In 1871 the Company, with its little Rumsey, moved by train to Chicago to help fight the terrible fire that destroyed a casino gaming third of that city. The “Badger” is called a “piano box” style engine because of the shape of its tank and pump housing. learn More
Jeffers Philadelphia Style PumperAmerican. 1844. Acquired in 1975.
The Philadelphia firm of Joel Bates built this engine in 1844 for the Rhode Island town of Pawtucket. Four years later Pawtucket fireman William Jeffers rebuilt it. Its design dates from about 1800 with the engines of a Philadelphia blacksmith named Pat Lyon. With two sets of pump handles manned by fifty firemen, it can pump over 250 gallons per minute. learn More
Horse Drawn Second Size Steam Fire Engine.Ex - Reno, NV. 750 gpm. Acquired in 1980. Built in Cincinnati in Ahrens Shops in 1904.
The American Fire Engine Company built this second size “Metropolitan” steam fire engine in 1904 and sold it to the fire department of Reno, Nevada, where it served until about 1925. It was built in the old Ahrens Fire Engine Company factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. learn More
1725 Newsham Manual Fire Engine. English, ca 1725Used in northern England. Acquired by museum in 1970.
Richard Newsham patented this style of engine in 1718. His company built most English fire engines during the 18th century. The American colonies imported a large number of Newshams for their own fire companies. The engine uses a twin cylinder single acting pump equipped with an air chamber. learn More
Buckley & Merritt Hand Drawn Parade Carriage.American. 1870. Ex - Derby, CT.
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. Pulled by a team of firemen at parades and musters, the beautiful carriage boosted morale and promoted the image of its volunteer company
Gallery 1 displays hand and horse drawn fire engines, ladder wagons, hose wagons, and chemical wagons. The exhibits change, but there are usually 35 to 40 pieces on display. All are fully restored to their original appearance. They range from an English fire engine built in 1725 to a stunning steam fir engine built for the town of Reno, Nevada in 1904. In between is a striking Philadelphia style fire engine from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, a fairy tale like 1870 parade carriage from Derby, Connecticut, and a diminutive 1865 Rumsey pumper that helped fight the Chicago Fire of 1871.
Gallery I also displays an extensive collection of insurance company fire marks from England, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy and the United States. A number of rare and beautiful lithographs are on exhibit, including all of the “Life of a Fireman” lithographs of Currier and Ives. Attached to Gallery 1 is a theater which shows a continuous introductory video as well as displays of helmets, speaking trumpets, and other memorabilia.