… unique, intriguing, great gift ideas
Included in our firefighter collectibles are a brass fire nozzle, a VERY toxic Glass-O-Matic Fire Extinguisher (glass fire grenade) with holder from the 1950s, a Joppa-Magnolia fire hat with badge, two Fire Dept. badges (Des Moines, IA and Chief Fire Police, Pioneer Hose Co., Cumberland, MD) and a 1960s ceramic “World’s Best Fireman” statue!
Early glass fire grenades were full of a salt water solution with added bicarbonate of soda or muriate of ammonia. Due to the use of salt water as an ingredient the fire grenade was advertised as non-freezing. Carbon tetrachloride, a dangerous chemical, was used as the fire deterrent in many glass fire grenades. At that time the dangers of its use to the body were unknown. It can cause damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys and the brain. The carbon tetrachloride is easily absorbed into the body through the skin and lungs. People of the late 1800s were not aware of this.
Carbon tetrachloride was used in making refrigeration fluid and as a cleaning fluid by dry cleaners during the last century. It is now banned and is considered a hazardous material. However the fire grenade worked by robbing the fire of oxygen through a chemical reaction.
The glass fire grenade was designed to be used like a military grenade — thrown at the fire to put it out. So the grenade usually had a long neck in order to grasp it. It had a decorative round body, looked like a bottle, and was made in a variety of colors — cobalt blue, olive yellow, green and clear.
The tear-drop shaped glass grenades were made to be placed in a wire rack on the wall in a strategic place. The pointed end was placed in the hole of the rack.
Our 1960s “World’s Best Fireman” ceramic statue might make a very special firefighter a unique Father’s Day Gift (or Valentine’s Day). Just sayin’! So be sure to stop in to Bahoukas Antique Mall and Beer MuZeum. We always have something new and ‘lots of old’…. we’ll be watchin’ for ya!