1885 Chemical Fire Engine

The Fire Museum of Memphis has proudly accepted on loan, for a three year period, a refurbished 1885 “Champion” hand pulled chemical engine, built by the Fire Extinguisher Mfg. Company of Chicago.  It is one of only three known chemical engines of its kind for that period according to owner, Richard Janne of Wichita, KS.  “From their entrance into the fire service in 1872 with hand drawn and horse drawn apparatus, on into the motorized era of the 1910’s and 1920’s, until their demise by the booster system and the final realization that “chemicals” were not better than water, the fire department chemical engines wrote for themselves a major and significant chapter of fire service history.”  W. Fred Conway, Chemical Fire Engines, 1987.

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