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The new sucking worm fire engine. | A new draught and description of the fire engine

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    G,10.76

  • Title (object)

    • The new sucking worm fire engine. | A new draught and description of the fire engine
  • Description

    Design showing the operation of John Lofting's invention of a fire engine which could carry water over distances through long leather pipes, in a variety of scenes annotated with letters, with key below; at centre, a cross-section of a tall building with men fighting the flames at the different levels; two engines manned by several men in the foreground to either side, behind to left, the pipes reaching high enough to carry water over the Royal Exchange and to an adjacent garret window, to right, the pipes reaching over the top of the Monument to commemorate the Great Fire of London, with a team of men extinguishing flames in the surrounding buildings; at bottom, to left, the engine placed in a boat to put out fires on ships; at centre, a fire in a distillery; to right, watering a formal garden; at far right, a medallion portrait of John Lofting.
    Etching with letterpress explanation

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1714-1727
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 465 millimetres (sheet)
    • Width: 538 millimetres (shhet)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered in cartouche at top centre: 'A new draught and description of the fire engine / To the most serene & most sacred Majesty / George / King of Great Brittain &c. this draught & description of the fire engine is most humly. dedicated by yr Majesty's dutifull and loyal subject J Lofting.'; on banner held out by arm at top centre left: 'The new sucking worm fire engine.'; at top centre right: 'The badges of those offices where houses are insured from loss by fire'; dedication to Parliament at top left, to the Mayor and others at right; seven-line key at bottom centre; letterpress explanation in two columns below image: 'These engines were first invented and made by John Lofting, of london, merchant, and have been experienced to be the best and most useful engines, for the speedy extinguishing of fire, that have been hitherto made... the said J.L. therefore is ready to propose such methods, as will effectually answer those ends, provided an Act of Parliament can be procured for putting the same in practice.'
  • Curator's comments

    For a note on Crowle's extra-illustrated Pennant, see G.1.1.

    Lofting's Fire engine was patented in 1691 (information from Dr Margaret J-M Sonmez, April 2015). A date for the print of 1714-27 is given on the basis of the dedication to "George, King of Great Britain".

  • Location

    Not on display (Crowle Pennant 10 76)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1811

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    G,10.76

Design showing the operation of John Lofting's invention of a fire engine.  Etching with letterpress explanation

Design showing the operation of John Lofting's invention of a fire engine. Etching with letterpress explanation

Image description

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