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Story 173 – 1865 – Innovation Products

A classic item rightfully in the spotlight

A Wieland fire pump from 1865 still inspires today

A fire extinguisher built by Philipp Jakob Wieland in 1865 is not only evidence of his innovative strength in this area. It still exists - fully functional - to this day and inspires visitors to the Wieland anniversary exhibitions in Ulm and Vöhringen.

Fire extinguishers were part of Philipp Jakob Wieland's product range from very early on. He was interested in the subject from childhood, and as early as 1822 he was able to obtain a patent for a “hand fire pump” he had developed. Up until old age, the founder devoted himself time and again to improving fire extinguishing devices, even when they no longer played a prominent role in the product portfolio.

Among the many fire extinguishers developed and produced by Wieland, one occupies a very special position: the so-called “Abprotzspritze” from 1865. Not that it was a particularly technical highlight of the time - it didn't even have wheels or its own water tank, but had to be carried by at least four men to the scene, where the fire-fighting water was sucked in via a hose. But this principle made the extinguisher comparatively handy and compact so that it could also be used in hard-to-reach places.

Special about the device is also that it has outlasted all this time. The extinguisher had been used by the Wieland plant fire brigade in Vöhringen for decades. After its “active” time, it was kept there as a memento - albeit in a tool shed from which it was only taken out a few times on special occasions.

From this shadowy existence, the rarity was brought into the light of the interested public in 2001: Since then it has been exhibited as a permanent loan in the Fire Brigade Museum in Kaufbeuren, lovingly embedded in a realistic "action scene" that vividly illustrates its workings.

During the Wieland anniversary year 2020, the classic item has been on a journey once more: First, the rarity was shown to the general public in the exhibition “200 Years of Wieland - Past, Present, Future” in the premises of the bank Kreissparkasse Ulm. And later, together with the entire exhibition, it was moved to the Wolfgang-Eychmüller-Haus cultural center in Vöhringen, where it manifested once more a tangible insight into 200 years of Wieland.

Dignified surroundings: In the Fire Brigade Museum Kaufbeuren, the “Abprotzspritze, made by P. J. Wieland in 1865” has been exhibited since 2001 in a suitable setting.