Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Firemen

This picture was taken in 1905, and shows the Wenatchee, Washington Fire Department. I wonder how long it took them to get the horses harnessed when a call came in.

6 comments:

  1. Harnessing might not take as long as one might think. There's a grill in Evanston, IL, which was once a firehouse. You can still see the hooks in the ceiling from which the firemen suspended the harness equipment. When the fire alarm rang, they opened the stalls and the horses walked into position on their own. The harnesses were lowered from the ceiling down onto the horses and buckled on. And off they went.

    Here is a link to a demo on harnessing a Percheron for a wagon team.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU2FftmwWMM

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  2. Thanks for the link, Marie. I now understand how the rigging works and how to keep the horse from biting you when she didn't want to come out of the barn in a cold morning.

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  3. Notice also that the horses have just the necessary harness for the job. The rig to pull a wagon is not complex and doesn't take too long. I'm sure there were lots of drills to make sure it was done correctly!
    I just love this week's subject. THANKS!

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  4. These men are fire fighters, not firemen. Firemen worked for the railroad and stoked the fires in the boiler. Fire fighters are those persons who suppress and extinguish fires.

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  5. In the day...they were firemen. NOW they are firefighters.

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  6. The Answer is seconds... When the alarm sounded the horses (who knew what to do) were lead into position, and the harness was lowered from above and everything was set to ether be preconnected, or quick connected, plus as we do today, the Men drilled on this evolution until perfection. Keep in mind that many fire companies in the horse drawn era were private organizations and in competition with other companies so speed was esential and everyone was well motivated.

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