Date: c. 1900
Size: 31.5 x 47 inches
"Until the middle 19th century most fires were fought by water transported to the scene in buckets. Original hand pumpers discharged their water through a small pipe or monitor attached to the top of the pump tub. It was not until the late 1860s that hose became available to convey water more easily from the hand pumps, and later steam pumpers, to the fire.
In Holland, the Superintendent of the Fire Brigade, Jan van der Heyden, and his brother Nicolaes took firefighting to its next step with the fashioning of the first fire hose in 1673. These 50-foot lengths of leather were sewn together like a boot leg. Even with the limitations of pressure, the attachment of the hose to the gooseneck nozzle allowed closer approaches and more accurate water application. Van der Heyden was also credited with an early version of a suction hose using wire to keep it rigid. Early fire hose was fabricated of leather, fastened together with copper rivets and washers and, as can be imagined, it was heavy, stiff, and commonly leaked." (Pretty cool, don't you think?)