Thursday, March 27, 2008

SFD in the Past

Pictured to the left is the original fire house in Salisbury. I am not sure of the date but I be live this may be in the late 1800's . The equipment pictured is a hand drawn hose reel (left) and a hand operated pumper (right) also hand drawn. The hose reel has a mental tongue with a handle arrangement for two persons as well as a rope wound on a spool. If more people were needed or available to pull the reel the rope would be payed out as a handhold for the extra help.

The pumper would more than likely require the services of at least 6 fireman and probably more to move to a fire scene. Once on the scene the rocker assembly you see on the top of the unit was operated by several men on either side of the pumper. This was done in a see-saw manner which filled and discharged cylinders in the housing. Sometimes these units were capable of drafting, or lifting, their own water and if that were the case it needed to be placed near a water source. Other units had a reservoir that the pump drew water from and if that were the case it was necessary to keep the tank full by bucket brigade or other means if available.

This building, long gone, was located on Humphries Pond. Picture if you will an Earthen Dam at what is now S. Division St. This would be the western boundary of the pond. The width of the pond would have been from Main Street to the Daily Times Building and would run east to what is now Rt 13. I'll try to find out when the dam failed and update this post a little later.

Pictured to left here is a hand drawn hose reel owned by the SFD. I am pretty sure this is the same reel pictured in the photo above. This reel is currently kept in the basement of Station 16 and is not readily available for public display. It will be moved to the Heritage Center in the new Station 16 when that facility opens in a few weeks. Modern style hose now wraps on the reel as the original stuff has long gone to the ages. Still it is a genuine and impressive artifact soon to be appreciated by all those visiting the Heritage Center.

So far as the hand drawn pumper pictured above, it too is lost to the ages. What a wonderful addition it could have made to the center.
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