The Pumper That Could

| May/June 1986

  • Wichita Fire Pumper
    Wichita fire pumper at Ternings Show.
  • Nichols and Shepard

  • # Picture 01

  • Wichita Fire Pumper
  • Nichols and Shepard
  • # Picture 01

RR3, Box 184 Valley Center, KS 67147

The steam powered fire pumper did indeed show that it could come back once again to show everyone it was not just a piece of old equipment that should be placed back into a corner.

The pumper was bought in the late 1890's and was in operation until the early 1930's. Many spectators at the 1985 Ternings Steam Show last Labor Day weekend remembered the pumper in operation in Wichita. When the pumper was in use, a small coal fire burned under the boiler all the time. Once the pumper was called to a fire, a firefighter would ride on the back of the wagon as it rolled through the streets and feed coal to the fire to build pressure in the boiler. As it was pumping water back into the pond the fine mist offered a pleasant relief to bystanders. It was indeed a pretty sight.

Many new exhibits and exhibitors were present at the show. New exhibits are being planned for the Ternings 1986 show. See you in Valley Center, Kansas next Labor Day weekend.

Don Blecha of Wichita showing Brandon Laughlin some of the finer points of Don's 1914 Nichols and Shepard that was once owned by his grandfather.

Quentin Base (on ground) adjusting his Yellow Fellow while son Gary pitches bundles. Red River Special owner and operator is Joe Harper. All three are from Sedgewick.


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