1914 Dennis Motor Fire-Engine
Early Commercial Vehicles1868-1919
Dennis was founded in 1895 by brothers John and Raymond who made Speed King Bicycles in Guildford. They made their first motor vehicle in 1898. In Guildford Dennis built the first purpose-built motor vehicle factory in Britain. In 1900 their first car was produced, powered by a White and Poppe engine; this power unit was soon fitted to all their models. Commercial vehicle activity increased with the first bus made in 1903 and first fire engine in 1908. By 1914 Dennis had orders for 44 fire engines and 90 more in 1915. Dennis fire engines were noted for their use of a centrifugal pump or ‘turbine’ as a water pump, rather than the piston pumps used by other makers. This was more complex to build but had advantages in operation. Water supplied under pressure from a hydrant, rather than by suction from a pond, was boosted through the centrifugal pump, whereas a piston pump would have throttled it. This vehicle is one of two 1914 machines sold to Coventry Fire Brigade for a total of £2,041. One of these has survived and by 1968 was was preserved at John Dennis Fire Works in Guildford, Surrey, England. It had served in the Coventry brigade until 1936 and was sold to the now defunct General Electric Company where it was discovered by a Dennis representative and bought for £35. Still in running order it was driven back to Guildford and restored to almost its original condition. John Dennis was succeeded by Alexander Dennis who were taken over by the Canadian NFI Group. Whilst at the time of writing (March 2022) the engine is still in Guildford, it and other exhibits in the musem there are shortly expected to move to a new site at Fornborough.
|Dimensions||48 × 35.7 cm|