Model of early manual fire engine, ca. 1680.
This is believed to be the earliest existing model of a fire engine. It was probably made by a seventeenth century fire engine maker to show to customers, as the provision of full-size handles would seem to indicate. The engine would be worked by a man on each side, pulling down on the handles alternately. The engine consists of two vertical pumps in a metal cistern mounted on a sled. The cistern had to be filled from water buckets. The pumps alternately force water into a large copper air vessel placed between them. When the water level rises above the outlet pipe going to the nozzle, the air is compressed and ejects the water in a continuous stream, an innovation of Hans Hautsch of Nuremberg in 1655.