Hose Carriage Send-off at Friendship Firehouse Museum

Come to Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 S. Alfred Street, Saturday, February 1, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. and wish the hose carriage Bon Voyage!

Alexandria, VA – The Friendship Fire Company purchased an ornate hose reel carriage in 1858. Now, thanks to the support of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, community donors, and its win as the No. 1 Virginia Endangered Artifact of 2019, Historic Alexandria is sending the hose carriage off for much-needed conservation.

The “Prettyman Hose Reel,” made in Alexandria VA, in 1858. This hand-drawn carriage hauled leather hoses to fire scenes which supplied water to hand-pmper fire engines from wells, primitive fire hydrants, and cisterns. This vehicle is mostly devoid of its original paint, and has structural damage needing restoration. (Photo:Friendship Fire Museum)

Before the hose carriage is loaded for transport, Conservator Josiah Wagener will discuss how the conservation treatment will affect the appearance of the apparatus, and the techniques he will use for treatment. The hose-reel carriage was made in Alexandria in the North Pitt Street shop of coach maker and Friendship member Robert F. Prettyman. State of the art technology of its time, it provided firefighters a steady stream of water.

This is a great opportunity to see the Friendship Firehouse Museum. Light refreshments will be offered. On exhibit with the hose carriage are buckets, hose, axes, and Friendship’s mid-19th century suction engine, elaborately decorated with the company’s clasped-hands insignia. In addition to fighting fires, Friendship members participated in parades and performed ceremonial duties for civic events. Ceremonial artifacts such as helmets, capes and other regalia are exhibited in the firehouse Meeting Room.

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