Multimedia presentation and tour of the Stevenson Outboard Collection.
Larry Stevenson’s talk tells the story of the development of pumps which have saved countless lives over the years. Designed to fight fires in forests, cities, and on ships, and to pump water out of boats and ships, these pumps were developed early in the 20th century using outboard motors. The story begins in the 1920s when Pacific Marine of Seattle, Washington developed a 70-pound prototype pump that one person could carry in a backpack. One of their first customers was the U.S. Forest Service, who helped Pacific Marine to further develop the pump to fight fires by pumping water from nearby rivers, streams, ponds or lakes. This portable pump could also be used to fight fires on boats and ships, or to pump water out of sinking ships to keep them afloat. The pumps went on to help the National Park Service, municipal Fire Departments, and U.S. Navy ships in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, where they saved countless ships from fire and sinking. Eventually the pumps were able to pump 500 gallons per minute, a monumental achievement.