On July 6, 1876, equipped with a hand engine purchased from Sacramento, California and a borrowed hose cart fro Port Gamble, Seattle's first fire fighting organization was established. Known as Seattle Engine No. 1, a volunteer company, made their quarters in a wood frame firehouse on the southwest corner of Columbia Street and 2nd Ave.
Built in 1834, the hand engine "SACRAMENTO" was an adaptation of the original end-stroke pumper developed by William C. Hunneman, an apprentice of Paul Revere and Ephriam Thayer of Massachusetts. Their engines were used extensively throughout New England and Canada. Built originally for the city of Salem, Massachusetts, it came around the "horn" for the city of Sacramento in 1854.
In operating the "Sacramento," eight to twelve men grasped the pumping arms or brakes at each side of the wheels, pushing down as the rocker arm or balance beam brought up the brakes at the other end. Each up and down motion constituted a stroke, and 60 t0 80 strokes could be made every minute. At such speeds, men could last without rest at the brakes for some ten minutes, less if they were under stress to pump faster.
In 1879, the fames hand-drawn "Sacramento" was replaced with Seattle's first steam pumper, a horse drawn Gould 3rd size(550 gpm). In 1882, the "Sacramento" was moved out to Lake Union at Western Mills Company near Terry Ave. N and Republican St. as Engine No. 3 until the paid department was established on October 26th, 1889. It played no part in the Great Seattle Fire.
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