Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Hall of Flame

Benson, Arizona High 73 Low 43

Today we drove from Mesa to Benson. With stops it took us 3 and a half hour. It is going to be a lot cooler tonight.

 Yesterday we went to the Hall of Flame. There were lots of old and newer fire engines. The oldest was built in 1725. A lot of the fire engines were hand drawn, and as they got larger they had to be drawn by horses, and by trucks in the early part of  the 20th century.

A lot of them were pumps ran by hand with a crew of firemen, like this 1725 model. They would line up on each side and pull the long bars up and down.

There were a group of school children from France going through and their guide told them the first fire wagons were buckets handed from person to person, until the closest one dumped the bucket of water on  the fire.

One of the pumps on display looked more like Cinderella’s chariot then anything to do with fires, and the description said it was more for show than functional. A lot of the old horse drawn pumps were very ornate. A lot of them had gold leaf paint on them.  

Another view of the Chariot.

This is a Japanese pump that was used by a wealthy rice dealer on his plantation from 1800 till 1870. It actually put out at least one fire.

We also saw a sleigh fire apparatus from Northern Michigan. It was used to haul hoses, ladders and other firefighting equipment. Attempts were made to convert steam pumps to sleighs, but proved to be too top heavy, and were hard to pull, stop, and turn.

They also had displays of different fire helmets from all over the world.

We found out that the museum was started in 1955 by Mrs. Getz buying a 1924 fire engine as a Christmas present for Mr. Getz. This started his interest in the various fire engines. The collection is now run by his grand-son.

 We even got to see a horse drawn fire chief's buggy.

 Some of these fire Engines are very ornate!

The paint is gold leaf.
This one just hauled hoses.
Old steam pump.
This model shows how the big ladder was hauled.

  One of the Engines was painted white for Norfolk, Nebraska.There were also several other towns that painted their's white. Most couldn't    afford the pricey fire engines.

 We didn't know the Liberty bell was originally a fire warning bell.

There is a section honoring firemen who have fallen in the line of duty.  There are also boards with various English Fire Department Shields.

There is a board that tells about the 19 that died last year in the Yarnell fire.

It was an interesting display and I would recommend it.

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

  1. Jim was a volunteer fireman back in VA and he found their badge while we were there. I also found one fo Sidney, MT where my Dad was a volunteer. Very interesting place. Glad you got to Benson without any problems.