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. This engine 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. At the front of the engine, protected by a sheet of horn and a door, are directions for keeping the machine in order.