Rhode Island Picture Post Cards
1920 Unused Postcard
Showing Horse drawn Hand Pump
(Hand Tub)
used by the Wickford
(North Kingstown) Fire Department

My brother George and a fellow school mate Bill, both worked for the North Kingstown Fire Department where this Hand Pump, (they were also known as "Hand Tubs") was originally used and stored for many years. The hand pumper has now been transferred to the East Greenwich Fire Department and is being fully restored.

Washington No. 1  (Serial Number 625) was built by Button & Sons of Seneca Falls, New York in 1874 and was sold to the town of Wickford, Rhode Island (The Wickford Fire Department has been incorporated as a part of the North Kingstown Fire Department.) Washington No. 1 had a 10 inch stroke and was capable of projecting a continuous stream of water for a distance of 244 feet 5 inches. In Contests with various Rhode Island Fire Departments this hand tub won a total of $12090.00. Washington No. 1 was declared "Champion of Rhode Island" on July 4, 1917 after defeating all of the other RI hand pumps with a play of water to a distance of 241 feet 5.5 inches.

There are four other postcards of early RI fire fighting equipment in the collection and they can be viewed at the links listed below.  The first was published by the Rhode Island News Company in 1905 and the last 3 are part of a 100 card set of postcards published by R. Wilkinson of 55 Eddy Street, Providence Rhode Island between 1907 and 1915.

1. Providence Hook and Ladder No. 1 Responding to an Alarm - 1905
2. Fire Engine Co. No. 14 Putnam & Amherst Streets Providence, RI - 1907-1915 
3. Niagara Engine Company No. 5 Olney and Hope Streets Providence, RI - 1907-1915

4. Four Providence Fire Chiefs Part of a set of over 100 Postcards Circa 1907-1915

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