Fire extinguishers are a large part of our safety every day. However, there is a ton of history about the fire extinguisher that is quite often overlooked. Ever wonder how this magical red device became the safety powerhouse that it is today? Here we go through the deep history of the fire extinguisher and examine how far technology has come.
Way back in 200 B.C., Ctesibius of Alexandria designed a hand pump that was capable of dispersing water onto a fire. In those time, this new invention was able to replace the very difficult method of passing buckets filled with water from hand to hand, transporting water to a fire.
The Middle Ages
As the Middle Ages came, they brought the development of devices called squirts that were used like bicycle pumps. These squirts were used in the historic and meteoric fire of the 1666 Great Fire of London.
An important year in the history of fire extinguishers is 1819. Captain George Manby invented the first version of the most modern portable fire extinguisher. Back then it consisted of a copper vessel that would spray a potassium carbonate solution using compressed air.
Another significant year for the fire extinguisher, 1912 brought us a new extinguisher model. This particular model used carbon tetrachloride and was also mass-produced. This specific fire extinguisher could safely extinguish a variety of fires from electrical to liquid. Even becoming quite popular to have in motor vehicles at the time. However, the drawback was that the fire extinguisher was extremely toxic and caused many deaths, especially in small spaces.
The most recent date that holds significance for fire extinguishers is the mid-twentieth century. It was then that the modern fire extinguisher emerged.
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