London Fire Brigade

Shand Mason six inch manual pump

In use from the 1840s, these large manual pumps - fire engines - were a later example of those designed by Richard Newsham in the early 1700s.

The stretcher handles on each side allowed teams of 20 people to pump up to 150 gallons per minute, although it was only possible for someone to work continuously for five minutes before becoming exhausted.

The manual pumps carried scaling ladders and leather delivery hose. 

Driven by a coachman, this horse-drawn 'fire engine' could only carry four firefighters to the fire.

Technical information

  • Crew: four firefighters and one coachman. Required 20 people to pump
  • Equipment: leather delivery hose, scaling ladders
  • Pumping capacity: 150 gallons per minute
  • Speed: 10mph (the speed limit in London at this time was 12mph but fire engines could exceed this if travelling to a fire)
  • Engine: N/A
  • Fuel: N/A
  • Manufacturers: The Metropolitan Fire Brigade used manual pumps made by both Merryweather and Sons Ltd and Shand Mason of Blackfriars


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