Merryweather introduced the Greenwich pattern steam fire engine in 1885. It had a horizontal double cylinder pump, which was produced in numerous sizes from 300 to 1,800 gpm. This type of steamer can be identified by the mid-ships mounted pump and air vessel. This is similar to earlier models but now Merryweather have shortened the distance between the boiler and the pump. In later years they also produced a double-vertical model.
True the Fire King, brought out a few years later, had a short reign, but by this date the internal combustion engine was already making its self-felt and the days of the steam fire engine were drawing to a close. A few people did marry a steam engine to a motor vehicle but they were few and far between.
Merryweather came up with a portable machine that weighed just 7cwt. It could be hand drawn or horse drawn and came in at least three sizes. As well as its naval application and fire fighting work it was used for irrigation, mining, and as a versatile power plant. Many thousand units were made during more than half a century of production. During the Great War the Government took over control of Merryweather’s Greenwich factory and increased production of Valiant’s. More than 2,000 pumps were supplied to the Allied Armies for use in the trenches and other theatres of war. Like the troops a great many of these machines never returned home. Nevertheless a number of these versatile machines exist today both in museums and private collections.