Saturday, May 7, 2016

1914 Dennis Motor Fire Engine

Here are some images of Bandai's 1/16 scale 1914 Dennis Motor Fire Engine.

From the instructions.
At the turn of the century, Fire Engines propelled by motors (engines) were considered to be experimental contraptions.
Fire fighters very proud of their competence to fight fires with horse drawn and steam pump equipment were reluctant to make the change. It should be remembered that the horse would start at the crack of a whip, but that early automobiles had to be coaxed into action, particularly on a cold day.

Few realized at the time what progress was about to be made.
Pressured water supplies were not always available in the early 1900's as they are generally today. In many country districts, water for domestic use was scooped or pumped from a well in the yard or inside the building (which may have been burning).
In 1901, the Fire Service Committee of Liverpool, England experimented with an "automatic water supplier". Later, an engine was developed in Lancashire which had a small ladder unit with only a 7 h.p. engine. It had a maximum speed of 14 m.p.h.
Following these not too successful experiments, a Mr. Edington of Totenham Fire Brigade designed "the automatic fire escape machine". This was made by the Merryweather Company of Greenwich. It had a 20 h.p. engine and moved at 15 m.p.h. and could be reliably in motion in about 20 minutes. This was

competitive with hitching up a team of horses and firing up a steam engine. Learning of this success, the Fire Chief of Finchley Fire Brigade (Mr. Shy), had one built by Merryweather Company with increased power. Its 30 h.p. engine could suck up 250 gallons of water a minute and shoot 160 feet into the air. Its success established the acceptance of the gas engine for use in fire fighting equipment.
Dennis Brothers Ltd. of Guildford was next in the field. The brothers, John and Raymond, started business as bicycle makers, and as a result of the hills in the area, decided to produce bicycles equipped with Dion Bouton engines. They graduated through tricycles to motor cars, equipped with engines made by White & Pope of Coventry.
Their first fire engine was sold to Bradford Fire Brigade for a cost of 900 pounds (about $2,500). It was equipped with a 36 foot ladder and a multi-stage pump powered by the engine.
This equipment created a lot of attention and during the following year, 8 of these epoch making machines were sold. By 1914, yearly production was up to 44, 1915, 88, and London Fire Brigade had 90 units on

Two of the 1914 Fire Engines were sold to the city of Coventry. One of these is maintained in perfect condition at Dennis Bros. Ltd. factory. Like Rolls Royce, Dennis Brothers still believe their success has been the result of maintaining their original policy of using only the best materials and workmanship that is available.
The fine quality of workmanship is obvious in examining the White and Pope Engine and the Gwyne's Pump.
The four-cylinder engine on the 1914 model develops 75 brake horsepower at 1,150 r.p.m. Power is transmitted through a dry cone clutch through a four-speed gear box, to the unique worm wheel live axle developed by Dennis Brothers.
The pump is a three stage centrifugal type and is geared to the engine at 1,000 r.p.m., producing a pumping capacity of 1,000 gallons per minute.
A Bailey escape ladder is mounted on a gallow, and will extend to about 50 feet.
Dennis Brothers Ltd. is now the largest producer of fire engines in England. They also make a wide range of commercial and utility vehicles.

The 1914 model can still be seen at auto rallies in England (with Dennis Apprentice Association markings). Its gleaming red paint and polished brass recaptures the excitement created when the sight of a fire engine speeding through the streets with its proud brass helmeted, smartly uniformed crew was an awe inspiring spectacle.


Diego said...

Hi Warren,
Terrible fire in Fort McMurray. I very much regret the loss of homes and damage to nature. You are a great nation and we are going to overcome.
The model very suitable meeting for the occasion.

Beautiful model and great potos!

A hug from Catalonia

Warren Zoell said...

Gracias Diego! Sí que el fuego Fort McMurray algunas cosas bastante desagradable. La mayor parte de la residencia de desde allí nos hemos alojado aquí en Edmonton. He oído más de 1.600 casas han sido destruidas. El fuego cubre ahora más de 100.000 hectres. Orar por la lluvia.

Liliana said...

Hi Warren, glad to read you are doing ok!

Long time no see.... beautiful model, congrats!

Prayers on their way!


Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Liliana - Prayers not matter what the occasion are already appreciated.

Anonymous said...

That is really cool!


Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Dave!