Ancient Times

Innovation of the Era: The Siphona

Historians also believe that since Augustus is believed to have modeled the Vigiles after the fire brigade of Alexandria, Egypt, the siphona (the first machine to employ an enclosed air chamber to produce a continuous flow of water, as two pistons worked alternately) was probably used by the Vigiles of Rome.
This graphic shows a siphona, an early firefighting pump that was in widespread use during ancient times. The siphona was the prototype for a long series of hand-operated piston pumps built in modern times.