12/02/09 134 W, 1 I - + 7 - 7 Salisbury Purchases Fire Engine, 1817

Our friends at the Salisbury Fire Department send this scan of a photo of a nearly 200 year-old county record of the first fire engine purchase, when 32 citizens contributed $175 dollars to "procure an engine and other apparatus." The action was recorded by the Rowan County Register of Deeds on December 8, 1817. What was bought? According to this SFD history page, they obtained a single hand pumper (both hand-powered and likely hand-pulled), leather hose, and leather buckets. However, the first formal fire company was still a few decades away, with the formation of the Salisbury Vigilant Fire Company in 1855. Salisbury was also only one of some 20 cities and towns in the state that operated a steam engine in its day. Read more SFD history. Click once or twice to enlarge:

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