Now Reading
The wonder and hazard in Victorian Glass Hearth Grenades – Museum Crush

The wonder and hazard in Victorian Glass Hearth Grenades – Museum Crush

2024-01-15 18:06:34

photo of a small amber bottle with ribbed pattern and stopper

The Swift Hearth Grenade. Courtesy LFB

Sophie Walter, Assistant Curator at London Hearth Brigade Museum, on the small, lovely and doubtlessly deadly Glass Hearth Grenade

After they had been first launched within the nineteenth century, Glass Hearth Grenades had been produced as ornamental glass bottles with a bulbous backside, lengthy neck and normally patterned with the corporate title on them. So they’re really very fairly – for one thing designed to place out a hearth.

We now have 21 examples of them within the assortment of the London Hearth Brigade Museum.

The earliest ones date to c.1880 and had been crammed with salt water, a mixture of widespread desk salt and ammonium chloride, which in principle is helpful as a result of salt water doesn’t freeze below regular situations and the heated ammonium chloride produced fumes that ought to assist to suppress the hearth.

Nevertheless, you might be solely speaking a couple of pint of liquid in them, so they’re fairly small and their effectiveness is unsure.

There have been two predominant strategies of utilizing them; you both had them at seize top in a steel rack, which allowed you to select them up and throw them on the base of the hearth, or in bigger houses and workplaces they had been suspended from the ceiling in particular brackets. The warmth would trigger wax components to soften or the glass to interrupt, and a deflection element would distribute the contents like a type of sprinkler.

a selection of small bulbous glass bottles

The Imperial Hearth Grenade. Courtesy London Hearth Brigade Museum

a photo of a yellow bulbous bottle with mottled design and stopper in its neck

Hearth grenade – considered of French origin. Courtesy London Hearth Brigade Museum

photo of an assortment of glass bottles

Miscellaneous Hearth Grenades. Courtesy London Hearth Brigade Museum

Hearth Grenades crammed with salt water had been used till about 1900, after they moved over to filling them with carbon tetrachloride, generally known as carbon tet, or CTC, which at room temperature is a liquid however when heated to about 76C turns into a fuel. The gaseous carbon tetrachloride has a better density than air so it sinks and helps smother the flames.

Nevertheless, carbon tetrachloride was utilized in a number of completely different processes together with industrial dry cleansing as a de-greasing agent and so they discovered by way of research that folks utilizing it had greater charges of most cancers and that you would get lung, kidney and liver injury from it by way of inhalation or contact.

That was harmful sufficient, however at 200-400C carbon tet additionally reacts with water to kind phosgene fuel, which was used as a chemical weapon in World Battle One. It’s stated that 85% of the 900,000 deaths attributed to fuel had been from phosgene so it was a fairly harmful substance to have in your house or manufacturing facility.

Anecdotally a number of variations of them had been purported for use by the Royal household and the Imperial Hearth Extinguisher Firm stated that their hearth grenades had been utilized in Sandringham round 1886.

photo of a short ribbed bulbous blue bottle with wax stopper

The Harden Star Grenade. Courtesy London Hearth Brigade Museum

photo of various bulbous glass bottles of various sizes

Courtesy London Hearth Brigade Museum

The makers of the Harden Star Grenade, which was produced in a fantastic royal blue colored bottle, even carried out a ‘Royal demonstration’ close to the Savoy Theatre. Their adverts stated it was obtainable from ‘all respectable iron mongers, home decorators and furnishers’.

Regardless of their shortcomings they caught round for forty odd years as an idea – though they did change in design, with the ornate bottles evolving into one thing extra primary, with clear or frosted glass and no mouldings.

See Also

Now, as we transfer to a brand new museum these typically forgotten objects will characteristic throughout the story of London Hearth Brigade, which is a wealthy and different historical past, bearing on the most important turning factors in London’s historical past that reveals how hearth can have an enormous affect on its communities and the cityscape.

One of many focusses of the brand new museum can even be to inform the story of fireside security so that folks perceive that it begins at house and at their administrative center. We can be making the shows accessible for all so everybody can actually perceive its significance and these small objects are actually vital inside that message.

London Hearth Brigade is planning a brand-new museum which can showcase our distinctive and thrilling historical past with different exhibition galleries, provide an enormous number of occasions and actions for all ages and permit us to indicate much more of our historic autos and artefacts like our glass hearth grenades. We’re at the moment operating as a virtual museum while our advanced redevelopment plans proceed.

photo of various bulbous glass bottles of various sizes

Courtesy London Hearth Brigade Museum

Signal as much as obtain the free London Fire Brigade Museum newsletter crammed with info on Brigade historical past, their objects and information concerning the new museum. Comply with the museum on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to maintain up with their progress.


London Hearth Brigade Museum is at the moment operating as a digital museum while our advanced redevelopment plans proceed. Signal as much as our month-to-month digital publication and we’ll be in contact with our newest information and insights into our incredible historic assortment of over 20,000 gadgets.

Source Link

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2022 Blinking Robots.
WordPress by Doejo

Scroll To Top