Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Horses Start to Disappear

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Overcast, drizzling, and warm

The Horses Start to Disappear

   With the invention of the internal combustion engine,later followed by the truck and car, the horse  would eventually  diminish as the major mode of work and hauling in the cities and countryside. One example  that best illustrated this was the change from the horse-puiled fire wagon to the motorized "transitional" fire wagon.  Basically, the larger horse-drawn equipment that had been used to fight fires was  somewhat the same. What changed though was the replacement of horses with a motorized truck. This was principally developed by the Christie company.

There were 2 main fire wagons before the transitional motor cabs (trucks) took over. One was the ladder wagon that pulled very long ladders to the fire. The other was the pumper.

Below are  two examples of horse drawn fire ladder wagons. Judging from the relative size of the horses and the men, these ladders must have been approximately 30 feet (9.144 M)

Unlike today's modern fire trucks, the early fire wagons (horse driven and truck cab) were items of beauty. They had nicely crafted designs, and the occasional ornament such as the American eagle that would adorn  the sides of ladder wagons or the top parts of fire water pumpers.  

The water tower below is still titled with the word "transitional". This must have been very hard on horses considering the heavy additional weight needed to be pulled. 

Below are the water pumpers. At the time, these were powered by ironically of all things - fire!
Coal  would be used to heat up the boiler to create pressure, thus allowing the water to be pumped quite a high or far distance .

The Hubley toy below has the front cab that was modelled after the real cab 
made by the Christie Company. Even without horses, these fire engines or wagons were still beautiful to see.

What's noteworthy below is the front metal part attached to the hose.  This is a filter that would be used in the event that the firemen had to input wagger from a local river or lake. You didn't want dirt, weeds, fish or minnows clogging and messing up the pump!

I'm sure when these "transitional" engines first came out, people would have visited the local fire station to check them out.  I'm also sure that many people still liked the horses and might have been sad to see them replaced with these motorized vehicle trucks.

In time, like everything else, people gradually got used to the "newfangled" machines, and the horse I'm quite sure were quite happy to be send to pasture to have a nice rest.

Thank for dropping by, and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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