Newsham's manual fire engine, 1734.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Richard Newsham of London patented 'a new water engine for quenching and extinguishing fires', in 1721 and 1725. This was a great improvement on previous machines and was much used in the 18th century. The engine shown came from Dartmouth and has two single-acting pumps and an air vesel placed in a tank which forms the frame of the machine. The pumps were worked by two men at the long cros handles. Much larger versions of this engine operated by teams of up to 20 firemen were in use in London up to the early 19th century.