Engraving of portable fire extinguishers

Engraving of portable fire extinguishers

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fire extinguisher. Engraving of a public demonstration of portable fire extinguishers in the 19th century. The extinguishers were carried on the backs of firefighter (at left) and used pressurised carbon dioxide to force water out onto the flames. The water and carbon dioxide put out the flames by cutting off the fire from oxygen in the air. Water also absorbs heat as it evaporates, as does the carbon dioxide as it expands. This cools the combustible materials, reducing the chance of them re-igniting. Image of Dick's extinguishers of 1868 being demonstrated in London, UK.

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Keywords: device, dick's fire extinguishers, early, extinguisher, fire, fire extinguisher, historical, history of science, instrument, technology

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