Friday, April 02, 2010

SF Fire Department Museum

Early Fire TruckOn my way to Office Depot this afternoon, I passed by the open door of the San Francisco Fire Department Museum & took an unplanned look inside. The museum is in a fire house on Presidio Avenue, & its plain door is easy to miss. It is open only 3 hours a day, 4 days a week. The interior is small & dark & crowded with fire fighting equipment. The volunteer guide immediately directed me to San Francisco's oldest fire truck, commandeered to fight a fire in 1849. The water would have been pumped by hand, & it does not look very efficient. It is brightly painted in blue & yellow, having been restored in 1980 by female inmates of the state prison in Tehachapi. A sign claims that the dancing woman pictured on the front is Lola Montez. Other fire engines are basically coal-fired boilers on wheels, with pipes, gauges & values coming off of them. They must have been quite a sight in operation.

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