After Electric Lighting Act of 1882 allowed for the establishment up of supply systems by 'persons, companies or local authorities’, the roll out of a stable domestic electricity supply to households across Britain gathered momentum but it was not until after the First World War that electricity made its way into homes on a much larger scale. While the introduction of the Electricity (Supply) Act in 1926, saw the establishment of the national grid, electricity was still viewed somewhat warily by generations used to gas or oil lighting.
Home safety became a key concern and saw the establishment of a number of Fire Extinguisher manufactures catering to the domestic market. One of the largest of these was the British Minimax Company.
Established in 1903, the British Minimax company manufactured a range fire extinguishers including their most successful, the unique conical shaped fire extinguisher known as the ‘Minimax’
A new factory was built at Feltham, Middlesex, in 1911, at the junction of Staines Road and Fagg's Road, 'Minimax Corner', which became a famous landmark. Soon 1,000 extinguishers a month were being produced. The Czar of Russia placed an order for extinguishers for his yacht Polar Star, and the Siberian Railway was supplied with Minimax extinguishers. Two hundred extinguishers a day were produced during the First World War, along with many thousands of aerial bombs. Between the wars, many new developments were introduced, including CO2extinguishers. Colliery protection with remote-controlled extinguishers became a speciality.
Minimax was eventually purchased by Pyrene in 1957 who had been marketing their own brands of fire extinguishers.
With a brass screw top it would be filled and then the T - Handle turned to the left and pulled back to charge the unit. The handle was then pumped back and forth to direct a reasonably powerful jet at the fire.
This is a fully working Pyrene hand extinguisher and still retains its filling tag. Even with a small dent on the side of the bottle, it looks simply stunning. A fantastic and rare piece of industrial, it would make a wonderful gift for any collector or anyone looking for a unique vintage artefact for home display.
Original working condition (empty) complete with card filling tag. There is a small dent on the side of the tank.