1914 Dennis Motor Fire-Engine

BB 6 Dennis motor Fire-engine.jpg
BB 6 Dennis motor Fire-engine.jpg

1914 Dennis Motor Fire-Engine


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. 1n 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 is now preserved at John Dennis Fire Works in Guildford, Surrey, England. It served in the Coventry brigade until 1936 and was sold to G.E.C. where it was discovered by a Dennis representative and bought back for £35. Still in running order it was driven back to Guildford and restored to almost its original condition.

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Length incl. escape: 7.0m (23 ft)

Width: 1.93m (6 ft 4 in)

Height incl. escape: 3.3m (10 ft 10 in)

Unladen weight: 4,572 Kg (4½ tons)

Front track: 1.6m (5 ft 3 in)

Rear track: 1.33m (5 ft 4½ in)

Wheelbase: 3.15m (10 ft 4 in)

Front tires: Solid rubber

Rear Tires: Twin solid rubber

Springs front and rear: Semi-elliptic

Cylinders: 4 cast in pairs with side valves

Bore: 127 mm

Stroke: 180 mm

Ignition: Bosch magneto

H.P: 75

Clutch: Dry cone

Gears: 4 forward and reverse

Max speed: 38 mph

Water throughput: 1590 to 4550 litres per min (350 to 1,000 gals per min)

Height of extended escape ladder: 14.5m (47ft 6 in)