Old Fire Engine - Papeete by Charles Frederick Surendorf

Old Fire Engine - Papeete by Charles Frederick Surendorf

Old Fire Engine - Papeete

Charles Frederick Surendorf

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.
Title

Old Fire Engine - Papeete

 
Artist
Year
c. 1945  
Technique
woodengraving 
Image Size
9 5/8 x 14 1/2" image size 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
100 
Annotations
titled and noted: "ed/100"; "PAPEETE" in block 
Reference
 
Paper
fine white wove 
State
first state 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
14634 
Price
$325.00 
Description

”Papeete” was the name of Engine No. 452, a nineteenth century fire “pumper” engine originally built by Hunneman & Co. (Boston, Mass.) for the Brooklyn fire department. Three years later, in 1855, it was rehabbed with the intent of sale to the Society Islands (Tahiti). Fancifully decorated in honor of it’s impending new home, it was renamed “Papeete,” Tahitian for “water from a basket” - and, incidentally, the name of Tahiti’s capitol. However, by the time it was ready for shipment the islands had acquired a different fire engine.

It was then purchased by King Kamahamaha of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii); en route, the crew made its way around Cape Horn and up to San Francisco for supplies, where legend states that they abandoned ship to try their luck in Gold Country. Thus, in 1856 Papeete was acquired by the city of San Francisco after a payment to King Kamahamaha in the amount of $1,800 (approximately $30,500 in today’s money.)

The saga of Papeete ends with an eventual purchase by the gold country town of Columbia, California - which had twice burned to the ground, so that by 1859 the mayor had finally had enough. Papeete was put to good use for many years in the mountainous climate of eastern California's Mother Lode country, and it resides there today, on display in the historical firehouse museum.

Columbia was home to the Indiana-born Surendorf from 1946 until his death in 1979.

 
Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.