The "Aldermen’s" hand pump, acquired by the City of Rouen on December 18, 1721, was a highly significant purchase, as it was also a symbol of modernity. At a time when most buildings were made of wood and fires were frequent, the purchase of a mechanical firefighting device was of considerable political, economic and sanitary importance.
This hand pump - a major technological innovation in the 18th century - was in use for 150 years, until 1870.
In 1884, it was acquired by the Museum of Antiquities, and stayed there until 1975, when it was exhibited in the foyer of the First Aid Centre in Rouen. It moved to the French Firefighters’ Museum on December 1, 1994.
To our knowledge, this is the oldest surviving hand pump in France, and is certainly one of the oldest in the world.