The Friendship Firehouse Museum will bid a temporary adieu to the historic 1858 Prettyman Hose Carriage with a send-off reception Feb. 1 prior to its removal for restoration and conservation work.
On hand at the reception will be Conservator Josiah Wagener, who will discuss how the conservation treatment will affect the appearance of the apparatus and the techniques he will use for treatment. The hose-reel carriage was made in Alexandria in the North Pitt Street shop of coach maker and Friendship member Robert F. Prettyman. State-of-the-art technology of its time, it provided firefighters a steady stream of water.
The Friendship Fire Company purchased the ornate hose reel carriage in 1858. Through the support of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, community donors and its win as the No. 1 Virginia Endangered Artifact of 2019, Historic Alexandria is sending the hose carriage off for the much-needed conservation.
“This is a great opportunity to see the Friendship Firehouse Museum,” said Friendship Firehouse Veterans Association member Joe Shumard. “On exhibit with the hose carriage are buckets, hoses, axes, and Friendship’s mid-19th century suction engine – elaborately decorated with the company’s clasped-hands insignia.”
Shumard noted that in addition to fighting fires, Friendship members participated in parades and performed ceremonial duties for civic events. Ceremonial artifacts such as helmets, capes and other regalia are exhibited in the Firehouse Meeting Room.
The reception will be held at the Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 S. Alfred St., beginning at 12:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit www.friendshipfireco.org.