Innovation of the Era!
Early to Mid 1800s

Play that Funky Music-On a Piano Box Engine?

In the mid 1830's, the Piano Box engine was perfected by L. Button of Waterford, NY. It was called the Piano Box because the main frame of the apparatus resembled pianos of the time. This engine was very powerful and one type of this engine was dubbed "The Man Killer" due to the amount of work it took for the firemen to pump the engine. During a fire, as firemen tired of pumping, they were replaced with other firemen jumping in their place to pump the engine. However, if not perfectly timed, the result could be a collision with the pumping arms of the apparatus and the fireman, which could result in a broken arm for the fireman.
This 1855 Piano Box Engine was built by the Button Company. It was used by its hometown fire department for 40 years!