Three hand pumps, 18th to 20th centuries.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The syringe, or fire squirt (front), was made about 1750 and was one of three kept ready for use in the Parish Church of St Dionis-Backchurch, London. The addition of an air vesel and valves to the syringe converted it into an efficient hand pump (right). It was manufactured by Shand, Mason & Co from 1848 as the London Brigade pump and supplied with a covered pail for water. The stirrup pump (left) is a form of double-acting pump made in large numbers for fighting the fires caused by incendiary bombs during World War II (1939-1945).