Red-painted Wooden Fire Hose Cart

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Red-painted Wooden Fire Hose Cart

    

Artifact Is: 3 Dimensional
Located at: Littleton Museum
Artifact Significant To: Colorado, Nation

Artifact Description:

Originally used by the Littleton Volunteer Fire Department, this red-painted wooden hose cart is the first piece of firefighting equipment purchased by the town of Littleton. The cart is comprised of two spoked wheels, a T-shaped handle, and a spool to wind hose around. This cart aided the volunteers, who acted as the city’s main fire defense. Teams of volunteers dragged these carts holding hoses and leather buckets to each fire.  Related items in the Littleton Museum’s collection include the cart’s original bill of sale to the department, the original nozzle, and a wooden hose clamp. 

Why Is This Artifact Significant?

After Littleton’s incorporation in 1890, John G. Lilley and 24 volunteers founded the John G. Lilley Hook and Ladder Company, which would later become the Littleton Hose Company #1 in 1892, and then Hose Company #2 in 1901. While they began with only a few buckets, by 1891, they were able to purchase this hand-cart, their first piece of professional equipment. Thanks to the constant training and dedication of the volunteers, Littleton never suffered any catastrophic fires, despite relying only on this main piece of equipment for over twenty years. 

 

How Does The Artifact Relate To Colorado History?

The hose cart relates very specifically to the community of Littleton, as it is the first piece of professional firefighting equipment purchased by the Littleton Volunteer Fire Department. The hose cart was a mainstay for the LVFD for over twenty years, owing its longevity to its usefulness to the department. Because Littleton was a rural, agricultural town at the time, the need for a fast and effective fire department was paramount and the hose cart was the exact piece of equipment the LVFD needed to perform its duties.