The historic 1858 Prettyman Hose Carriage was temporarily taken away from the Friendship Firehouse Museum with a send-off reception held on February 1 for restoration and conservation work. At the reception, Conservator Josiah Wagener discussed how the conservation treatment will affect the appearance of the apparatus and the techniques he will use for treatment. The hose-reel carriage was made in Alexandria in the North Pitt Street shop of coach maker and Friendship member Robert F. Prettyman.
According to the Alexandria Gazette, “The Friendship Fire Company purchased the ornate hose reel carriage in 1858. Through the support of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, community donors and its win as the No. 1 Virginia Endangered Artifact of 2019, Historic Alexandria is sending the hose carriage off for the much-needed conservation.”
Friendship Firehouse Veterans Association member Joe Shumard said, “This is a great opportunity to see the Friendship Firehouse Museum. On exhibit with the hose carriage are buckets, hoses, axes, and Friendship’s mid-19th century suction engine – elaborately decorated with the company’s clasped-hands insignia.”
As per Alexandria Gazette, “Shumard noted that in addition to fighting fires, Friendship members participated in parades and performed ceremonial duties for civic events. Ceremonial artifacts such as helmets, capes and other regalia are exhibited in the Firehouse Meeting Room.”