Jan van der Heyden: Comparison of the old and new fire hose apparatus (1690)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

This engraving comes from the Dutch book "Beschryving der nieuwlyks uitgevonden en geoctrojeerde slang-brandspuiten, en haare wyze van brand-blussen" - the first firefighting manual, composed by Jan Rieuwertsz (II) and illustrated by Jan van der Heyden. Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712) was painter, printmaker and inventor who made several contributions to firefighting. The book shows how the new invented fire hose works and gives examples with fires which had happenedin amsterdam. This print compares the old fire hose (left side) with the newly invented fire hose (right side). The new fire hose gives the firefighters (usually men from the peat-carriers guild and volenteers from the neighbourhood) a bigger range and enables them to enter the burning building to extinguish the fire directly. The book was a big succes and the citycouncil of Amsterdam ordered Jan van der Heyden to organize the firefighting in Amsterdam. Engraving from 1690.