Beschryving (The Fire Engine Book): Jan Van der Heyden, 1690

It is often said that human beings have “tamed” fire but professional firefighters know better. Organized fire departments date back to ancient Rome but many European cities lacked them until the 1600s. This 1690 Dutch volume, entitled The Fire Engine Book, is the first modern firefighting manual. It shows how manual force pumps were used to combat blazes in Amsterdam. The book’s most famous image is a 2-page cutaway diagram of a 5-story house on fire, with fireplaces in each room including a library and a map room. The author was also an inventor who, with his team, invented or improved the fire hose 18 years before publication of this work.