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[p. 21] that of December 4, 1858, when Mr. Palmer was chosen a ‘committee to get subscribers to a good time generally among ourselves.’

Medford had two other engine companies, and there was certain and constant rivalry between these men that ‘manned the brakes’ and ‘ran with the machines,’ and mostly of the younger men. Clannish, jovial, they were always in for a good time—oyster suppers, clam chowders, target and fishing excursions—and always ready to help any ‘Hunneman tub’ that was challenged to a trial. The engineers complained that they used too much ‘fluid,’ but this was the burning fluid used in the lamps of that period. They were always ready to contribute to the relief of a needy member, or to a member's bereaved family. Several instances of this are on record, also of gravestones erected in memory of comrades.

Yet it is an open question, which was the most important, the subduing of the flames, or the washing of the other tub. As ‘all was fair in love and war,’ the spy system was in vogue, as seen by the vote of July 2, 1850,

Voted to choose a committee of two to Study out something to keepe People that have there nose in other folks business from looking into No. 1 Plungers Trying to see what they are pack with.

If the schoolmaster was abroad, and some of the records give evidence that he had been, the spirit of invention was rife, as witness the story told of the secret valve in the bottom of the ‘tub,’ which the foreman could operate with his foot to prevent a ‘wash.’

An effort was made at a previous time to have two ‘minitures’ taken of the engine, to present to past foremen of the company, but the vote was rescinded. After the disbanding, various extra fixtures were given to members.

One relic of the old hand engines is still in useful service in the Medford Highway Department. It is the four wheels, spire and bottom of the tub, on which is placed a tool box. Is it that of the old Governor Brooks engine?

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