This Old Fire Engine

March 16, 2017

In 2015 the Fire Museum's only functional steam fire engine was put out of commission when the boiler was deemed unsafe. This began a two year endeavor of raising money, finding a boiler maker, and completely rebuilding our 1899 American Fire Engine Company steamer from Lawrence-Cedarhurst, NY.

 

Left is an image of the steamer when it last operated in May of 2015 at the museum's annual Steam Show. Since then, it has been our goal to have the steamer fitted with a new boiler and working again in time for the 40th annual Steam Show, which will take place on Saturday, May 6.

Along the way, our tireless volunteers have dismantled and cleaned hundreds of parts in preparation for the arrival of the new boiler. During that process the Fire Museum's staff was very excited to uncover a section of original paint on the engine's frame.

 

This started the museum's Director & Curator, Stephen Heaver down the path of finding a perfect match for that paint. When no such paint could be purchased, we made our own.

 

Last week the project took another giant step forward when the new boiler was delivered and fitted to the frame.

 

 Now that all the pieces are coming back together, that leaves the finishing touches. Not the least of which is the paint. Below are a series of videos of Stephen Heaver mixing pigment powder into paint using 1800's techniques similar to those used when the engine was new. Please consider supporting this ongoing project so we can all experience a functional steam fire engine this May.

 

 Mixing in the pigment powders.

 Pouring the Mixture in the mill.

 Using the 1800's mill to mix paint.

 The mill in action.

 

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