Old and new firefighting equipment, 1690.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Jan van der Heiden, first published 1690, showing a comparison between old and new fire-fighting equipment. The old engine only threw water straight up or through open windows. The new pumps and presure hoses reached much further, into formerly inaccesible fires at the back or the top of houses. From 'Beschryving der nieuwlyks uitgevonden en geotrojeerde slang-brand-spuiten en haare wyze van brand-blusen' ('Fire engines with hoses and methods of fighting fires') by van der Heiden and his son Jan, (Amsterdam, 1735). Father and son were designers and manufacturers of Europe's best fire fighting equipment and Fire-Masters General of Amsterdam. The book is the most important source of technical information for firefighting in the 17th and 18th century.