Monday, May 30, 2011

Granville Ferry Fire Hose Reel - 1893

A couple of weeks ago I needed to make a trip to Yarmouth. Since it was only a quick trip to pick something up, I decided to extend my stay by a few minutes and pay a visit to the Firefighters Museum of Nova Scotia. If you have not had the chance to see this museum, I would highly recommend taking the time for a visit. From horse drawn wagons and leather fire buckets to steam powered engines and even fairly modern trucks, there are a wide variety of machines used to fight fire on display. There are also impressive collections of everything from safety equipment to firefighting ephemera on display.

While they have a very impressive collection of equipment at the museum, there was one piece in particular that I wanted to see. For some time I have known about a hose reel from Granville Ferry in this collection. Knowing that the Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department are commemorating their 200th anniversary in 2011, I figured that these pictures may be useful at some point. I was directed to a room off of the upstairs exhibit gallery and allowed to take a handful of pictures.

The hose reel was made in 1893 and served the community of Granville Ferry. The piece is essentially a friction roller for the fire hose carried by two large wagon wheels. There is a tongue at the front but it appears to be a piece that would be pulled by two humans rather than a horse. There is an open tool box and two nozzles which are made of leather and brass.

This is certainly a case where I wish that the artifact could tell some of its own stories. Where was the hose reel kept in Granville Ferry? Where were the fires that this artifact helped to extinguish? Who were the people who pulled it? Even without these stories, I was happy to see this important artifact.

All for now,
RGS





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