A Brief History of the Firefighting Hose

The Supply Cache Blogger |

A Brief History of the Firefighting Hose

The best element for fire suppression is water—that’s the way of the world! Before the 16th century, however, firefighters would carry water to the scene using buckets, which was anything but convenient. The firefighting hose was a valuable invention that moved water from one location to another, and it’s the ideal tool for wildland and structural firefighting. We’ll uncover a brief history of the firefighting hose and how far it has come since its invention.

The Beginning

The first firefighting hose was used in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Made from strips of leather sewn together in the same way a shoemaker would create shoes, firefighting hoses were bulky, heavy, and tough for firefighters to maneuver. They shot streams of water using a gooseneck nozzle that would hook up to the fire truck, which connected to a water source. Though the hose wasn’t perfect, the firefighters were thankful to use something other than buckets to douse the flames.

The Philadelphia Hose Company

Water sources for fire suppression included wells, cisterns, and natural bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that fire hydrants were created, making it easier for firefighters to connect to a water source.

The sewn leather hoses continued to fulfill their duty until the Philadelphia Hose Company found a better way. First, the company began to connect leather strips using metal rivets rather than sewing the material together. This made hoses much sturdier.

In 1821, James Boyd introduced a rubber-lined cotton web fire hose to the scene. He also patented the design that same year.

A Seamless Hose

The first seamless cotton firehose came to market in 1878, created by the American Fire Hose Manufacturing Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It set the standard for what we see today on fire engines.

Today’s Fire Hoses

Discovering the history of the firefighting hose reminds us how far firefighting techniques have come. With innovation and new technology, fire hose weaves, materials, and nozzles have improved the ability to fight fires.

The Supply Cache has been serving the wildland firefighting community since 1991. We specialize in high-quality products and solutions, such as our wildland firefighting nozzles in varying sizes and materials. As a firefighter, you can be prepared to take on any challenge. We care about your safety and take our role in the industry very seriously. Contact that Supply Cache with any concerns and questions about wildland firefighting gear.