fire engine

1) Engine used to extinguish fire.

Engines have been used to extinguish fires by projecting water at them from at least the seventeenth century, and they have become increasingly efficient over the years. However, in a mining context the earliest fire engines were pumps, designed to draw water from a pit and keep it dry. These were apparently in use from the late 1600s, and in 1693 payment was made to a Colsterdale man for boring a pump 5 yards long and throwing a Rag Wheel and bringing them to the coal pit . There is mention in The Compleat Collier of an ‘Invention of Drawing Water by Fire’ which colliers in that area were wary of, considering it an extra hazard where so much ‘Sulpherous Matter’ was already present. The cartographer John Warburton was in the Leeds area in 1719 and made his way from Kiddal to Austhorpe: he says in his journal that he crossed a moor with cole pits on it before arriving at the seat of Nicholas Moor, esq. who had a good coliary adjoining, and a fire engine which I saw working. Engines of this kind were not uncommon in parts of the West Riding through the eighteenth century: 1742 a Fire Engine … which will draw at present all the Water, Hunslet

1787 shall erect and build one or more Fire Engines for the purpose of drawing out the water, Beeston. One of the most explicit references is in a Beeston document drawn up in 1769 which drew attention to the actions of a certain Mr Wilks who in the lifetime of Mr Denison, but without his consent, began to build a Fire Engine upon the Wasts of the said manor … which he has covered in and is also erecting another building adjoining to the same in which a Boiler belonging to the said Fire Engine is to be placed . Later, in 1791, a prospective coal-owner in Beeston sought permission to build a Fire Engine with a boiler … and the liberty of getting Coals upon the premises to work the Engine with .

dates 1693 1708 1719 1742 1787

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