This is the smallest of the horse-drawn fire engines introduced by Merryweather and Sons in 1851 and known as the 'Paxton' after Joseph Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace. With 22 men to work it the engine would deliver 100 gallons of water per minute to a height of 120 feet. This engine was purchased in 1866 by the Duke of Portland for his Welbeck Abbey estate. The firms of Merryweather and Sons, and Shand, Mason and Co, both founded in the 18th century, were the leading manufacturers of the engines in the 19th century and combined in 1922.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library