House damaged by fire, Amsterdam, Holland, 1683.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Jan van der Heiden, first published in 1690. This house on the Heeren Canal was burnt during a fire on the night of 25 April 1683. It was quickly extinguished using Amsterdam's new fire engines and presure hoses and the adjoining houses saved from destruction. 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 fire-fighting in the 17th and 18th century.