St John’s Episcopal Donates Two Antique Fire Extinguishers to Boston Fire Museum

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charlestown on Thursday, July 26, donated two vintage fire extinguishers to the Boston Fire Museum.

The church recently upgraded their fire extinguishers and rather than discarding the two obsolete, vintage copper/brass extinguishers, they were offered to the Boston Fire Museum.

When contacted to see if there was interest in having the lovely copper extinguishers, the museum replied: “We certainly would. They would go very nicely with some ‘Charlestown Fire Muster’ ribbons and our 1860 Charlestown fire engine known as ‘Washington Engine 5’ that was located on Harvard Street.”

St. John’s Building Committee member Mike Mickelson did some research on the extinguishers and found through a patent search that they date as circa 1910.  Mickelson said, “We were surprised to read that New York City banned soda-acid fire extinguishers in 1983. Merely possessing a charged soda-acid extinguisher draws a substantial fine in New York. They were banned because they occasionally explode. One fireman was killed demonstrating its use. Rest assured that we carefully emptied our extinguishers to prepare them for delivery to the museum.”

Rosemary Kverek, a member of the St. John’s Church Vestry, suggested presenting the extinguishers Thursday’s Charlestown celebration honoring the 100th year of one of the most beloved fire stations and fire companies in the City of Boston – Engine 50. The museum agreed and she and Mr. Mickelson turned the extinguishers over to the Boston Fire Museum today at the Engine 50 celebration.

The extinguishers are:

  • Knight & Thomas.  Cap label says No B. Front label says 2½ gallon and No. 987090. Complete with acid bottle.
  • Badger’s.  Cap says B-2.  Front label is stamped with number 62405.  Complete except for broken acid bottle.

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