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Newsham's manual fire engine, 1734.

Newsham's manual fire engine, 1734.
3 3 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 25cm


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.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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