Historic Hose Carriage Returns to Friendship Firehouse Museum - Alexandria Living Magazine

2022-05-14 22:36:43 By : Ms. Danae Wang

The Friendship Fire Company’s ornate hose-reel carriage, purchased in 1858, has been off-site for much-needed conservation treatment.

by Alexandria Living Magazine Staff

Photo courtesy of City of Alexandria

The Friendship Firehouse Museum is welcoming visitors Saturday, April 30, at 1 p.m., to show off its newly restored historic carriage. 

The Friendship Fire Company’s ornate hose-reel carriage, purchased in 1858, was off-site for much-needed conservation treatment.

At the welcome-back event, conservator Josiah Wagener will discuss the conservation treatment, how he determined the historic appearance of the apparatus, and the techniques he used. Today’s first responders and fire apparatus will also be at the event. Visitors are welcome to come and compare equipment used in 2022 with apparatus available in the 1850s. Teams of City officials, Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Trustees and donors, and members of the Alexandria Fire Department will move the apparatus into the firehouse.

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. The restoration was possible thanks to support by the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, Custom Fire Apparatus, Simpson Development Corp., Virginia Association of Museums Top 10 Endangered Artifact Program, the Historic Alexandria Foundation, Donald F. Simpson, Sr., Jeanne Jacob & Gerry Frank, Marion Moon, David P. Baker, Joe Shumard, Spring2Action Alexandria, and community donors.

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 duties for civic events. The ceremonial artifacts such as helmets, capes and other regalia are also exhibited in the historic firehouse.

Friendship Firehouse Museum is owned and operated by the City of Alexandria and managed by the City’s Office of Historic Alexandria. 

by Alexandria Living Magazine Staff

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