Artifact of the Month

Donor:  Plato Fire Department

Accession #: 2016-0060-001

History:  Leather fire fighting bucket with handle. From the Plato Fire Department.  A fire bucket might be filled with water or sand and kept handy to prevent or extinguish fires, for example, at a railroad station or an industrial site.  In the early days it was the leather buckets, made by local cobblers, that were the only means to transport water to the fire sites.  The buckets held about 3 gallons of water. They were passed from hand to hand by lines of male volunteers. When empty they were returned by another line of boys and women, to be refilled.  The invention of the steam engine and hose reel in the mid 19th century saw the end of the bucket brigades.


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