Kearsarge Engine No. 3 was built by the Amoskeag Mfg. Co. for Portsmouth NH in 1870. Two years later the Great Fire in Boston overwhelmed the Boston Fire Service. The Portsmouth Fire Department put Kearsarge 3 on a train and came to help. The engine was placed by the South Meeting House to protect the historic building. When the fire was over, structures on three sides of the Meeting House were destroyed, but the "Old South Church" survived. This historic engine was lost for many years. Recently it was found in pieces in an old barn.
Below is a factory photo of the hose wagon for Kearsarge 3, built by the Abbott & Downing Co.
As I apply the decoration, these massive machines begin to appear lighter and more refined. The finished piece is a sophisticated balance of power and style. They may look too busy to modern eyes, but they were the height of good taste at the time.
This steamer was originally pulled by hand. Later, it was rigged for horses and a seat was added for the driver. It is an awkward place to sit with the air chamber and lantern between the horse and driver.
This engine was decorated by Ken Soderbeck of Hand-In-Hand Restoration. I painted the name on the back of the coal box and green lines on some of the iron work.