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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
Attributed to William Todd

Columbia Fire Company Spanner, 1810–1850
Cast steel, 8 inches long
Engraved at the bottom of the handle: “W. Todd Phila.”
References: Garvan and Wojtowicz 1977, 117, illus.

RS 6333


Spanners were used to open hydrants and couple hoses. This example was probably made by William Todd, a machinist who worked on Schuylkill Eighth Street above Wood Street. The Columbia Fire Company was founded in Philadelphia in 1796 and located near Eighth and Cherry Streets. In 1840 the company stipulated that each of its directors would be supplied with a spanner, belt, and speaking trumpet; those who arrived at the scene of a fire without one of these articles had to pay a twenty-five-cent fine.

  


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