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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Chemical Engine No. 3

Chemical Engine No. 3


Chemical Engine No. 3, stands in front of the Bridge St. House, which was located on E. Bridge St. (now Michigan) at the junction of Kent St. (became Bond in 1912). Four firemen in their helmets stand around the machine, and a couple of bystanders look on.


Full Details

TitleChemical Engine No. 3

Thank you to retired Captain Robert Imhoff, of the Grand Rapids Fire Department, for sharing the photo with us.

The Chemical Engines used in the Grand Rapids Fire Department, both horse drawn and later motorized, had twin copper tanks of 30 to 35 gallons each of soda and acid which when mixed supplied a pressurized stream that could put out small fires sometimes even before a steam fire engine arrived on the scene. The City purchased its third horse drawn Chemical Engine from the Muskegon Chemical Fire Engine Company in May 1874 (the first two were purchased in 1873 and called "The General Champlin" and "The Advance" and placed at Engine House No. 3 and Engine House NO. 2, however the "Advance" was soon after transferred to Engine House No. 1). The first Engine House No. 2 was south of the Bridge Street House, near the corner of Kent (later Bond) and Bronson (later Crescent).

Location In PhotoGrand Rapids MI
CollectionRobert Imhoff

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