London Fire Brigade

Shand Mason steam fire engine

Steam fire engines were invented in 1829 by Braithwaite and Ericsson, however it was not until the 1860s that a variety of steam engines were being manufactured en masse.

The first chief officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade declared each fire station should have at least one steam engine.

They were more powerful and economical than the Shand Mason six inch manual pumps, delivering up to 350 gallons per minute of water.

This extra capacity was needed to combat the growing number of fires in the increasingly industrialised city

Technical information

  • Crew: four firefighters and one coachman
  • Equipment: delivery hoses (canvas, unlined open-meshed and leather hoses), leather suction hoses, scaling ladder, lines (rope)
  • Pumping capacity: 250-350 gallons per minute
  • Speed: 10-15mph
  • Engine: N/A
  • Fuel: coal, paraffin or oil
  • Manufacturers: Merryweather and Sons, and Shand Mason of Blackfriars


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