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New Fire Fighting Equipment

The City of Bloomington was introducing its new fire truck water pump to the citizens. One day previous the pump had been demonstrated near the Waterworks, but apparently an insufficient number of people turned out for the display and on October 15, 1915 the fire department announced that the pump would be on the courthouse square and would throw and stream of water OVER THE COURTHOUSE DOME! Of course this was meant to reassure the public that the fire department had what it took to protect every householder and business owner from the fearful danger of fire. Bloomington had suffered two devastating fires in 1855 and 1900. The new pump was powered by a gasoline engine. Using a one and one quarter inch nozzle, the gasoline engine was able to create 164 pounds of pressure to drive a stream of water. On the day prior, they had compared the power of the old steam driven pump with the new gasoline one. The steam pump was only able to generate 101 pounds of pressure, indicating that the City had certainly gotten its money's worth in the new purchase.

The City of Bloomington is using this same method for introducing citizens to the value of city services today with the "Bloomington 101" program. By enrolling in the program you can get an insider's view of just what is done with your tax dollars.

You can read a history of the Bloomington Fire Department in the Finding Aid for that collection at the McLean County Museum of History:

Pictured above is the pump that the 1915 pump replaced, copied from the City of Bloomington website.

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