06/02/09 152 W, 2 I - + 10 - 9 Wilmington Hand Engine Goes to Florence, 1872

Speaking of that coastal city to the south, here's an interesting newspaper clipping from 1872, from the Marion Star in South Carolina. It reports that Wilmington's old hand engine, named Vigilant, was sold to Florence, S.C., on December 3, 1872. What make and model was said engine? Unknown. Wilmington had at least two hand engines, an 1820 Hunneman and an 1843 Hunneman, as recorded in Mike's hand engine database. Was either of those the "old hand engine" cited in the article? Maybe. Possibly. How long was the average service life for mid-century hand engines, back in those days? Not sure. Based on Raleigh's history, hand engines lasted at least a couple of decades, if kept in repair. The article comes from the Florence Fire Department, which is presently researching their history. This chart charts our city's hand engines, among other milestones. Click once or twice to enlarge:

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