A “Pumper” of the Early Days
Here is a “pumper,” which was used by fire fighters in the early part of the Fifteenth Century. Contrast it with the modern pumping fire engine and one can get a good idea of the progress that has been made in the science of the fighting of fires. This primitive unit is one of the first pumping fire engines ever built and was invented by Hochhausen in 1602, in Vienna, Austria. It can still be seen in the Municipal Museum of that city.
It is notable that this engine was evidently intended to be drawn by horses, as the whiffletrees are to be seen in the front of the apparatus. The cross-bar to be fastened to the heavy wooden pumping bar by means of a staple is to be partly seen on the left side of the machine. The nozzle points to the rear, and, as hose was unknown at that carty day, the effectiveness of the little apparatus as a fire extinguisher must have been rather limited.