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Rumsey Hand Drawn Pumper

American. 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 third of that city. The “Badger” is called a “piano box” style engine because of the shape of its tank and pump housing.
The Rumsey Fire Engine Company of Seneca Falls, New York was probably the leading maker of manual engines. Its line of engines, hose carts and wagons, and ladder trucks were extremely popular until the company’s absorption by a larger company during the 1890s.