Who Knew? The first practical firefighting equipment was invented in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI - The Tri-State is home to many fascinating facts, offbeat oddities, and "I did not know that" moments. With that in mind, WCPO asks, "Who Knew?"

Over the years, Cincinnati’s first responders have proudly served the residents of their city. Not only is the Queen City known for its accomplished service, but it also has a storied history of technological advancements in firefighting, including the invention of the first fire engine.

Christine Mersch and Lisa Mueller, authors of “Cincinnati Fire History,” explain this little-known story that led to huge improvements in fire safety across the United States.

Who invented the first fire engine?
 The A.B. Latta steam fire engine was built by Lane and Bodley in the mid-1800s. It had a steam-propelled engine, a design that was patented by Alexander Bonner Latta. Latta then constructed the first successful steam engine in Cincinnati in 1852.

WCPO Insiders can also find out how the engine worked and how long it took before the era of horse-drawn fire engines and hand-operated pumps ended for good.

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