Hartford Engine No3 - known as Jumbo

Hartford Engine No3 - Jumbo (Photo Credit: Connecticut Historical Society)  
Jumbo while in the Melton Collection (Photo Credit: Margo Melton Nutt)
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Jumbo in the collection of a friend
The city of Hartford CT purchased one of the earliest self-propelled stream fire engines in 1899 from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company of Manchester, New Hampshire. The engine was nick-named Jumbo due to its extreme size and capacity. Apparently, Amoskeag built 22 of these giant engines (used in places like Boston and New York), however Jumbo is the only one of it’s kind known to survive. According to the book, Greater Hartford Firefighting by The Connecticut Fire Museum, Jumbo was sent to the American and British Company in 1915 for modifications to modernize the engine for continued use. The old self-propelled machinery (chain drive) was removed and a gasoline electric tractor installed. This system uses a gasoline engine to drive a generator powering an electric motor on each front wheel. The stream engine remains - driving the pump that propels water at 1,350 gallons per minute. From what I can find, Engine No3 (Jumbo) had been decommissioned by 1937. It next shows up in the 1950s in the collection of James Melton. In Bright Wheels Rolling by James Melton with Ken Purdy, it is noted where Melton acquired the car, but I don’t have a copy on hand. As with much of Melton’s collection, Winthrop Rockefeller purchased Jumbo. From there it went to the Jameson Collection (in CT) and was consigned in 2003 to the Bonhams auction at the Larz Anderson Museum. Jumbo sold for $225,000. Today Jumbo sits in a friend’s facility (sorry for the poor photo) where Dad was just visiting – Jumbo is seen sitting behind the ex- Glen Gould Twin Six Packard. I’ve had the chance to see Jumbo up close and it lives up to its name – she’s huge. 

UPDATE: Tim Martin notes that the ex-Glen Gould Packard is a 1914 model 38.

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