PHOTOS: A beat-up, rose-red-and-gray metal bucket with a rounded bottom dangles from an iron hook at the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company Museum.
In black capital letters, it bears the word “F-I-R-E.” Because of its rounded bottom, it teeter-totters and spills its contents if you try to sit it upright. The bucket has this design to deter thefts, in case a 1941 firefighter left it unattended. It is one of hundreds of firefighting artifacts displayed in the museum by the company, established in 1892.
There’s more: a 1940s breathing apparatus for surviving in a smoky building and several alarms from pre-siren days. In 1910, a firefighter stomped on a pedal on a 1909 Howe truck’s floorboard to sound a gong.