Home Is Where We Park It: Rancho Rialto RV Resort, Yuma
Dec 30, 2019
Temperature 55 Degrees
Hall of Flame – Phoenix, Arizona
Promises, Promises. They keep promising warm weather is on the way but it can’t come soon enough if you ask me. Yea, I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but this weather is ridiculous. Why anyone would want to spend their winter here is beyond me.
I decided to do some monthly maintenance today. Finished up what I could do inside, then decided to go outside and do some more. Nope, as soon as I opened the door I knew I was done for the day.
Barbara was smart. She stayed inside
and worked on the details of our 2021 Alaskan Cruise. It will be a twelve day combination land and sea excursion. I know it is a long way off but I’m already excited and looking forward to it. We also considered taking our rig up as part of a caravan but that was more expensive. In addition we would have to pay for fuel and hope the rig held together there and back. So, land and sea it will be. We’ll fly from Vancouver to Anchorage and work our way back. This was the recommendation of the tour consultant at Holland America. He stated it seems to work best to get all of the land tours out of the way first, then just relax on the cruise back.
So what else did we do today? Absolutely nothing. I make no apology for just sitting back in the recliner all day. It was great.
Now, let’s finish up our tour of the
Hall of Flame has six exhibit galleries. Within the six galleries the museum has over 130 wheeled pieces in the collection. In addition there are over 10,000 smaller objects, all of which relate to the history of firefighting. There is absolutely no way in which I can share pictures of everything here so I’ll try and highlight some of the more important or unusual.
Let’s get started.
The Philadelphia firm of Joel Bates built this engine in 1844 for the Rhode Island town of Pawtucket. The figure on this side of the condenser box is St. Euphemia, a patron saint of firemen.
On the other side of the condenser box is Rebecca, the wife of Isaac, at a well. The intricate art work on this engine illustrates one of the main differences between American and English fire engines. American engines were usually elaborately decorated while English engines were plain and utilitarian.
With two sets of pump handles – front and back – manned by fifty firemen, it can pump over 250 gallons per minute.
This village pumper was used in 1865 by the Badger Volunteer Fire Company of Centerville, Wisconsin. In 1871 the Company, with its little Rumsey, moved by train to Chicago to help fight the terrible fire that destroyed a third of that city.
The Badger is called a piano box style engine because of the shape of its tank and pump housing.
Form follows function in this engine, which carries its suction hose squirrel tail style on a graceful crane neck frame. The pre-connected suction can be put to immediate use, and the front wheels can turn at right angles to increase mobility. The elegant curved design of the pump lever allows firemen to work the pump handles closer to the ground. Capacity is about 130 gallons per minute.
The attached hose cart, called a jumper provides several hundred feet of hose.
This engine was built in 1852 for the New Hampshire town of Exeter. Like almost all Hunnmans it was highly decorated. The Hunneman Company maintained a staff of several artists and painters to decorate their engines. Most volunteer companies took delivery of their rigs with a simple primer coat of paint and contracted with a local carriage maker to decorate the engine.
The typical hose wagon. Simple and practical.
For many years after its invention in 1807, riveted leather hose was an expensive part of a fire department’s inventory. Only the wealthiest volunteers could afford to organize hose companies, and they commissioned fire apparatus builders to make elaborate carriages to carry the hose. By 1870 inexpensive cotton and canvas hose was replacing the leather variety, and practical but plain hose carts were the norm like in the previous picture.
Not to be deprived of their beautiful carriages, hose companies ordered even more highly decorated and extremely expensive versions of the old carriages, intended only for use in parades or at ceremonial occasions.
What attention to detail. Such beautiful etched glass.
Many modern departments follow this tradition by carefully restoring their old fire engines for display in parades. This is a great example of such a parade carriage.
Another example of a parade hose wagon
The ends to which the companies went to decorate the wagons is hard to believe. Note the elaborate etched glass again, the brass, the chrome and the painted wheels.
Moving to the Motorized exhibits.
An early hook and ladder.
Something a bit unusual.
In another exhibit hall.
One more exhibit hall.
We’ve come to the end of our tour. Again, just a small taste of all that is there. We found it to be a wonderful museum to visit. It was fascinating to see first hand the evolution of the fire engine; to view the different smaller exhibits; and, to visit the hall of heroes. The Hall of Heroes was a vivid reminder of how fragile life can be, a reminder to always hold those you love close and to tell them over and over of how much you love them. If you are ever in the Phoenix area I would encourage you to take the time to visit The Hall of Flame.
That brings to an end our day on The Road of Retirement. We’re doing what we came here to do, nothing but rest. The NOMAD projects back to back took quite a bit out of us physically. We need some time to regroup and recharge. So we shall.
Thanks again for being part of our day. We always appreciate your company and your comments. Till tomorrow.
These are the voyages of Graybeard and it’s two intrepid travelers. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before
See you on down the road!