On the 25th ult. a bill was passed in the House of Representatives for organizing a paid fire department for the city of Washington, and appropriating $37,000 for the purchase of steam fire engines, and a fire and police telegraph. Here is a chance for the builders of steam fire engines. But like most all government jobs, we suppose the contract for these machines will be obtained upon the strength of political influence, not mechanical merit.
This article was originally published with the title "Steam Fire Engines for Washington" in Scientific American 13, 39, 310 (June 1858)