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B1871 Fire engine, full size, Dennis-Tamini, 250-gpm, motor pump, New South Wales Fire Brigade Appliance No. 221, chassis No. 7587, engine No. 41005024, chassis made by Dennis Bros Ltd, Guildford, Surrey, England, 1932, body by New South Wales Fire Brigade, 1933 used at Lakemba, Moree, Cooma, and Ba. Click to enlarge.

Dennis-Tamini fire engine from NSW fire stations

This 1933 motorised fire engine pump is typical of the fire-fighting appliances designed for use in country towns in New South Wales with limited reticulated water supplies in the middle of the twentieth century. The vehicle has forward facing seats for the driver and passenger while behind them the fire crew sit facing outwards on longitudinal bench seats either side. The advantage of this was that the firemen could leap off the engine on arrival at the fire. Under their feet are the canvas …


Object No.


Object Statement

Fire engine, full size, Dennis-Tamini, 250-gpm, motor pump, New South Wales Fire Brigade Appliance No. 221, chassis No. 7587, engine No. 41005024, chassis made by Dennis Bros Ltd, Guildford, Surrey, England, 1932, body by New South Wales Fire Brigade, 1933 used at Lakemba, Moree, Cooma, and Bangalow fire stations, New South Wales, Australia, 1933-1970

Physical Description

This Dennis Tamini fire engine has a four-cylinder overhead valve engine. The vehicle has separate, non-integrated, headlights, mudguards and running boards. On the driver's side are two storage boxes. Flexible suction hoses with screwed gunmetal couplings extend along the body of the vehicle to the passenger and driver's access way. At the back of the vehicle are three fire extinguishers, twin pressure gauges, pump release and turbine, as well as safety buckles for securing items. The driver's compartment features a bench seat in brown leather, a circular mirror, large narrow-rimmed steering wheel, clutch and brake controls and petrol tank in front of the passenger area. Mounted on two tall brackets of uneven lengths behind the front seats is a wooden extension ladder with small travelling wheels. It extends over the crew's rear seating area, the driver and halfway across the bonnet. There are a pair of longitudinal bench seats with leather cushions along each side for the crew with storage underneath. The fire engine is fitted with a Dennis Tamini two-stage, centrifugal pump of 250 gallons per minute capacity which operates at 120 lbs per square inch. The exterior of the engine is painted red with gold borders and trim decoration.

Chassis: No. 7587
Engine: No. 41005024
Gear Box: No. 12664
Rear Axle: No 23105
Engine: 4-cylinder, overhead valve
Clutch: Internal cone
Rear Axle: Worm wheel
Radiator: Dennis 250 (small type)
Transmission: 4 forward speeds & reverse
Wheels: Detachable steel rims
Tyres: Pneumatic 33 inch x 5 inch
Body type: NSWFB "Workshop Standard"
Pump: Dennis Tamini two-stage centrifugal
Capacity: 250 gallons per minute (1137 litres per minute)
Pressure: 120 p.s.i.
Ladders: Originally supplied with extension ladder and 3 scaling ladders
Hoses: Originally supplied with three 3.75 inch (9.5 cm) hoses
Electrical equipment: Lucas Switch box 6 volt
Magneto: Bosch FR4
Generator: Lucas 6 volt
Starter: Lucas
Carburettor: Zenith 32UY


An oval brass plate on the centre front of the truck above the grille reads, 'DENNIS'. On the inside left of the front body of the passenger's compartment is a small faded plaque with details of the chassis number, '7587 / 41005024 / 12664 / 23105 / 313'. Next to this plaque on a perspex shield is a 1994 unregistered vehicle permit with the Sydney 2000 logo valid between 15/4/1994 to 22/4/1994. On the largest storage door on either side of the truck reads, 'N.S.W FIRE BRIGADES'. The three fire extinguishers on the back of the truck contain a plaque on the top, 'SIMPLEX / FIRE EXTINGUISHER / WORMALD BROTHERS' and a painted shield on the body with instructions, 'TO OPERATE / TURN BOTTOM END UP / SIMPLEX / FIRE / EXTINGUISHER'. The middle parts is concealed by the bands holding it in place, but underneath this is, 'WORMALD BROTHERS / INDUSTRIES LIMITED / AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND / CAP.2IMP.GALS.TESTED 350LBS / RECHARGE NO.7'. The recharge number on the other two extinguishers say '1'. There is also a plaque on the centre back of the truck, 'DENNIS BROS. LTD / TURBINE FIRE ENGINE / PAT NO. 146208. APRIL 15TH 1921 / MANUFACTURERS / GUILDFORD. ENGLAND'. On the inside of the driver's compartment are the letters 'C' and 'B' indicating the clutch and brake and 'LUCAS' written on the lower right pressure gauge.



2500 mm


1900 mm



The chassis and engine were imported from Dennis Brothers Ltd of Guildford, Surrey, England. Between the Wars the New South Wales Fire Brigade was the biggest user of Dennis fire appliances outside the United Kingdom. Dennis Brothers were founded in 1895 by John (1871-1939) and Raymond (1878-1939) Dennis who made bicycles which they sold from their shop, the Universal Athletic Stores, in Guildford. They turned to making motor cars in 1899 (actually a powered tricycle) then buses in 1903 and their first fire engine in 1908. This featured a centrifugal pump, in which a rotating vane, rather than pistons, developed the pressure. It was so successful that they concentrated more on fire engines and acquired the rights to a powerful turbine pump designed by an Italian engineer named Tamini. Cars soon took second place, with no more being made after 1915. In 1913 Dennis moved to a larger factory at Woodbridge, on the outskirts of Guildford. At first they used Aster engines but turned to White & Poppe from which they finally purchased the manufacturing rights.

The first of this type of Dennis appliance was purchased by the New South Wales Fire Brigade in 1926, with over 70 being acquired through to 1934. They were initially supplied with side valve engines and solid rubber tyres but were fitted later with overhead valve engines and pneumatic tyres. Most of these vehicles were withdrawn during the 1960s, their pumps being removed and installed on the Commer and Bedford fire engines which replaced them.

It was usual for the appliance to arrive in New South Wales as a motor/chassis/pump combination. This fire engine's engine, chassis and pump was purchased from Dennis Brothers for 1404 Australian pounds. The body was constructed and fitted with appropriate accoutrements in the New South Wales Fire Brigade's own workshops to suit local requirements and conditions. The body is known as a NSWFB "workshop standard" and illustrates the English style known was the "Braidwood" where the crew sat facing outwards. This style went back to the 1820s during the horse-drawn era and was designed by the James Braidwood, who later became Chief Officer of the London Fire Engine Establishment.



This fire engine was designated Appliance No. 221 by the New South Wales Fire Brigade and installed in 1933 at Lakemba fire station a south-western Sydney suburb. It was moved to Moree in 1936, Cooma in 1945 and Bangalow in 1953. The appliance was withdrawn from service in 1970. It was donated to the Museum in the same year by the New South Wales Board of Fire Commissioners. In 1992 it was featured in the City of Sydney's Sesqui-centenary Parade on 18 July 1992 and in the National Trust's "Heritage on the Move" vintage transport parade, part of Heritage Week, on 17 April 1994.


Credit Line

Gift of the Board of Fire Commissioners of New South Wales, 1970

Acquisition Date

15 September 1970

Cite this Object


Dennis-Tamini fire engine from NSW fire stations 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 October 2021, <>


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