Motor fire engine, 1904.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This machine was the first self-propelled petrol motor fire engine used by a public fire brigade. It was delivered to the Finchley brigade in north London on 23 November 1904 by Merryweather and Sons, Limited, who had built the very first motor fire engine eight months previously for the Rothschild estate in France. The power unit was used for both propulsion and pumping. The tank below the driver's seat is a sixty gallon soda-acid first-aid appliance. The engine originally carried a fifty-foot telescopic escape ladder.