Water Witch, Waldoboro, ca. 1838


Town of Waldoboro's first fire engine, the Water Witch, was purchased sometime around 1838 and the certificate that came with it is dated 1776. Ten of these type of hand tubs were built in England. John Hancock and George Washington purchased two of the ten machines.

This one purchased by Waldoboro was stationed at Old North Church in Boston. The first fire company of 22 men formed in Waldoboro when the engine arrived.

It has a zinc rear compartment filled by the bucket brigade: this holds a barrel of water and is pressured by six men: three on a side rotating the handle to build up the pressure in the pump. It is capable of throwing a 94 foot stream and has two rope handles that allow it to be pulled by men not horses.

This photo along with many others was donated to the Waldoboro Fire Department over the last 40 years from Genthners Studio. Warren Genthner before his passing was a local photographer in town and his business took many photos for the town.

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