The Tools of the Trade – Fire Equipment

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Spanner wrenches, fire extinguishers, life belts, bed keys, speaking trumpets, all the “tools of the trade” are represented in the fire equipment collection.

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Bed Key

Often the most valuable piece of property owned by a colonist during the 1700s was his bed. Firemen during this time carried a special tool called a bed key that could be used to quickly disassemble the beds of the day and thus carry them to safety. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

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Wooden Fire Rattle

These wooden warning devices have been used since the 1700s to alert colonists of a fire in their community. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

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Speaking Trumpet

A multifunctional “tool,” the primary use of a speaking trumpet was to amplify the speaker’s voice, so that the firemen could hear orders from command. They were also often utilized after the fire: by stuffing a cork in one end or some wadded up fabric, the trumpet could be used for a drinking mug of sorts. During an altercation with another fire company, a common occurrence in the 1800s, the speaking trumpet could be utilized as a formidable weapon when swung with might. However, speaking trumpets are perhaps most recognizable as presentation gifts, when firefighters honor another firefighter for a courageous deed or for a firefighter’s long service. 

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Leather Fire Hose

Sewn leather hose was a great step forward in hose construction, but like sail cloth before it, sewn leather hose did not always hold water pressure sufficiently. Leather riveted hose was able to hold the water pressure without bursting and this was an even greater step forward in hose construction Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

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