photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
This image shows the museum’s horse-drawn steam pump fire engine racing to the scene of a fire in Broken Hill, c 1905. This horse drawn fire engine spent all it’s working life at Broken Hill Central Fire Station in Blende Street, Broken Hill, from about 1897 until September 1921, when it was replaced by two motorised fire engines.
Apparently Broken Hill Fire Brigade was called out more frequently to fires than any other single station in the State. When the alarm was raised, bells were set off all over the station, including the stables. This alerted the horses and the doors to their stalls automatically opened to let them out. They lined up under their hanging collars, which the firemen lowered and clasped in place before attaching the reins. Contemporary newspaper accounts advise that the two horses which pulled the steamer were called Prince and Kate. Prince worked with the steamer for about 10 years. It was said that Prince attended about 500 fires.