New Bedford MA steam fire engine built by Amoskeag Mfg. Co.

Steam Fire Engines

Restoring the gold leaf decoration
on antique steam fire apparatus...

Steam powered engines began to be produced in the 1850's. They required fewer people to operate, and they could continue pumping for hours. A coal fire boiled water, that in turn drove the pistons to move the water. At first these engines were pulled by hand to fires. As the engines increased in size it became necessary to move them with horses.

Two steam fire engines at Fire Gold work shop.

     Steamers are much more complex and powerful than the earlier hand tubs. It is an inspiring site to see one in action. Steamers were decorated profusely. There are gold stripes and scrolls on every available surface. As I apply the decoration, these massive machines begin to appear lighter and more refined. The finished piece is a refined balance of power and style.

Andy Swift and Tom Hopkins towing an Amoskeag steamer at Firefly RestorationSide of coal box on a 1904 Amoskeag steam fire engine restored at Fire Gold.the Guys out steaming the old engine... Fire Gold shop with 1870 steamer frame and boiler.1910 Nott steam fire engine decorated by Peter Achorn1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine in Fire Gold door yard.Fire Gold workshop with Gorter water tower leaving. Restored gold scroll by Peter Achorn on 1911 American LaFrance steam fire engine Two Amoskeag fire engines at Firefly Restorationsteamer Vesuvius in Fire Gold shop being decorated.Gilded steamer wheels leaving Fire Gold shopa weathered old steamerCrowd watching an LA fire from the roof.1875 Clapp & Jones steam fire engine restored by Firefly Restoration. Blue frame and seat on 1875 Clapp & Jones steam fire engine Wheel, flywheel and frame of 1875 Clapp & Jones steam fire engine

    This steamer was originally pulled by hand. Later, it was rigged for horses and the seat was added for a driver. It is an awkward place to sit with the air chamber and lantern between the horse and driver.

1875 Clapp & Jones steam fire engine decorated by Peter AchornFred Conway on his 1875 Clapp & Jones steam fire engine Wheel stripes on 1875 Clapp & Jones steam fire engine. Portsmouth NH firemen with their 1870 Amoskeag steamerengraving showing decoration on a similar Amoskeag for Brooklyn NY. Richarn Hunneman with 1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine before restoration1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine cleaned up but not painted1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine frame, boiler and wheels badge for Washington FDLines and stripes on front end of 1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine old photo of Kearsarge steamer with white horses 1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine Kearsarge in shop Seat of Kearsarge 1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine Number 3 on frame of 1870 Amoskeag steam fire engine Amoskeag fire engine steaming at a canalCoal box lettering on Kearsarge 1870 Amoskeag steam fire enginefactory photo of Abbot & Downing hose wagon for Kearsarge Engine No. 3Decoration on front axle of 1870 Amoskeag steam fire engineStars and stripes wheels on Kearsarge No. 3Rear axle decoration on Kearsarge No. 3Brookline Amoskeag steamerDecoraton on air chamber tube of pump.Portsmouth Fire Dept. shield on coal box corner of Kearsarge steamer1900 LAFD Amoskeag steam fire engine and hose cart.Silver stars and gold stripes on Amoskeag wheelsReat spring and frame of Kearsarge steam fire engineAmoskeag wheel is Fire Gold work shop for gildingAlexandria VA fire dept.
San Fancisco water tower no. 2 restored by Firefly RestorationVesuvius steam fire engine at Owls Head Transportation Museum. 1910 Seattle steamer on its side.
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