Somerville had two hand pumper fire companies. One was the Union No1 and the second was the Jersey Blue No2.
The Union No1 was housed in a small wood shed located near the museum site on Doughty Ave on property donated by Joshua Doughty.
Jersey Blue No 2 was housed in a shed located near Warren and Main Street.
Both pumpers were referred to as Gould pumpers. Gould Pumps was and is today a major pump manufacturer with its headquarter located in Seneca Falls, New York.
To be accurate the pumpers were actually manufactured by Downs & Company, which was purchased by Seabury S. Gould in 1848 when he acquired Downs, Minders & Company.
The Gould name became the company name in 1869.
Of interest Downs & Company in 1849 developed the technology to cast and assemble the world’s first all-metal pumps.
This pumper is an early example of that new technology
The pumps were placed on wood carts and were used to fight foundry fires and soon were being used for public fire suppression purposes.
The hand pumper in the museum is the Union No1 pumper. It served until the late 1800’s. It was preserved by Joshua Doughty in his barn. It was then stored in various sites around town including the public works garages until it was placed in the museum in 1970.
This pumper is still serviceable and is pumped several times a year.
The fate of Jersey Blue No2 is unknown.