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A Tour Just For You

As a museum, education is the driving force of our mission. We have established tour programs that are popular with students and adults. For students, they are designed to align with Maryland’s Curriculum Standards. However, most people do not realize that we are ready, willing, and able to draw from our collection to create new programs on a variety of subjects!

On April 21st the Fire Museum hosted a group of 11th and 12th graders from the Friends School of Baltimore’s Automotive Physics class. A few weeks before the tour, Principal Rutstein called to explain the class’s interest in a field trip because they were motorizing a bicycle. The connections between that and our Truck 1, a chain driven 1918 Mack tractor pulling the 1908 Hayes aerial ladder, were easy to make.

Director and Curator, Steve Heaver and I put our heads together and came up with a program. The museum’s collection features a variety of engines with pistons powered by hand, steam, and internal combustion. Since their visit would only be an hour, I led the students through a brief history of hand and horse drawn apparatus. Steve took over to discuss the era of steam powered fire engines and the transition to gasoline tractors pulling apparatus. We kept the group moving because Truck 1 would be the focal point of the tour.