The chemical engines were essentially 30 gallon soda-acid extinguishers on wheels. 2 1/2 pounds of bicarbonate of soda was dissolved into 30 gallons of water. Approximately a quart of hydrochloric acid was suspended above the mix. When the aparatus arrived at the fire, the tank was turned upside down, the acid mixed with the bicarbonate of soda mix and this created a carbon dioxide gas which pushed the soda-acid mix through the hose and nozzle to extinguish the fire. This chemical engine was designed by Charles T. Holloway.
4th October, 1892.
The Board of Fire Wards and Fire Commissioners beg to report on the matter of purchase of Chemical Fire Engine. They had before them offers from the following firms:
Holloway Chemical Fire Engine Co
Fire Extinguisher Mfg. Co., "Champion."
Lindgren Mahan Co.
Waterous Engine Works
Truro Foundry & Machine Co.
And decided to recommend that the City Council purchase a Holloway double 60 gal. tank Engine, at $2,450.
W. E. PICKERING, Chairman.
The following resolution is now introduced:
Resolved, that the report of the Fire Commisioner be received and adopted, and the Board be authorized to proceed with purchse of Holloway Chemical Engine, price $2,450 (two thousand four hundred and fifty dollars.) Moved by Alderman Foster, seconded by Alderman McFatridge. Motion put and passed. Aldermen
Wier and Pickering dissenting.
Source: Halifax Municipal Archives, Source