Kovels.com Item of the Week October 3, 2011: Fire Grenade

Harden Glass Fire Grenade

It's National Fire Prevention Week, proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. It commemorates the Great Chicago Fire that burned from Sunday, October 8 to Tuesday, October, 1871, 140 years ago.

Pictured here is a glass fire grenade. Homes and public buildings used fire grenades from about 1870 to 1910. They were filled with a fire extinguisher such as carbon tetrachloride. The glass was thin enough to shatter easily when thrown at a fire to extinguish the flames. Because they were designed to be broken, not too many have survived for collectors.

This fire grenade is marked Harden with their trademark, an embossed star, and still has its original seal closure. It's 8 inches high and sold for $431 at a Showtime auction.

See pictures and prices of other firefighting memorabilia sold at Showtime in the June 2011 issue of Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles newsletter. Search for prices of other firefighting memorabilia here and our newest book, Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2012, available now.

 

 


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