This is a 1/8 scale model 1880 Dutch fire pump built and donated by Merl Thurman of Livingston, TX. It’s modeled after a pump built by H. Belder, a fire engine manufacturer in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The horse cart was built by C. H. Broekman in Amsterdam. The pumps were used as a combination of extinguisher and supercharger.  In 1880, the town of Wassenaar purchased two of these hand pumps—the last hand pumps they would purchase.

The pumps were drawn by horse to the fire. There the pump was offloaded by tilting the cart and sliding it off the back. Two pumps/carts were required. One was stationed at the water source and pumped water into a holding tank on the second unit. From there, the second pump was used to pump water from the tank onto the fire. They were capable of pumping 200 gallons per minute. Each cart had a 6-man crew.

This model was scratch-built in 1/8 scale from plans drawn by Frans Zwartjes, with information from Fire Brigade Chief J.A. Jansen. It took approximately 700 hour to complete. The photo below shows the scale model pump unloaded from the cart.

Here the scale model pump is unloaded from the cart.

Exhibit added: March 24, 2016 - Last modified: April 19, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship