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Fire Engines Photos

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Merryweather 1900´s manual pump
Fire Engine Photos
No: 40374   Contributor: Eduardo Martínez   Year: 2017   Manufacturer: Merryweather   Country: United Kingdom
Merryweather 1900´s manual pump

This Merryweather manual pump is showed in the National Railways Museum of Argentina, in Buenos Aires. Carried about 200 liters of water. Picture taken October, 2016.
Picture added on 07 February 2017 at 17:03
add commentComments:

This looks like a "chemical engine", which was actually a giant over sized soda acid fire extinguisher mounted on a two wheeled cart and either pulled along by a horse or - in this case - a team of fit firefighters!

At the fire, a crank was turned to release the acid into the tank, which contained baking soda dissolved in the water. The chemical reaction created carbon dioxide gas, which pressurized the system and forced the contents out of the hose in the basket on top of the cylinder. If the tank was large enough, and the fire small enough, the job was done!

If the fire was serious, the role of the chemical engine was to try to limit its growth until the pump could be set in to a water supply and got to work. Depending on the size of the tank, this could be for three to around six minutes.

Larger, and often multiple, chemical tanks were later fitted on truck chassis, and then on motor pumpers, but died out as booster pumps were introduced in the 1920s, although a few were still installed in the early 1930s.

Added by Rob Johnson on 08 October 2018.
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