Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Knight And Thomas, Underwriters fire extinguisher

In Firefighting > Fire Extinguishers > Show & Tell.
lzenglish's loves270 of 710Collectors Weekly Acquired by Barnebys.comWood working tools
Love it
Like it

officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
ttomtuckerttomtucker loves this.
lzenglishlzenglish loves this.
twistedvintagetwistedvintage loves this.
See 2 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 2 years ago

    (1 item)

    I was recently given this antique fire extinguisher to restore. It's in great condition, just missing the hose. I am trying to figure out what year or time span it is from. I can not find a Paton date on it anywhere, just the serial number and i do not get very far with that when I do a Google search. Maybe y'all could help!

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    Fire Extinguishers
    See all
    Vintage 1940's Presto Brass Fire Extinguisher With Original Box & Harley Decal
    Vintage 1940's Presto Brass Fir...
    Antique Vintage Queen Steam Punk Queen Copper Brass Fire Extinguisher Empty
    Antique Vintage Queen Steam Punk Qu...
    Dayton Copper Fire Extinguisher - Vintage
    Dayton Copper Fire Extinguisher - V...
    VTG Presto "C B" Mini 5.5" Brass Fire Extinguisher Merlite Industries w Bracket.
    VTG Presto "C B" Mini 5.5&#...
    Vintage 1940's Presto Brass Fire Extinguisher With Original Box & Harley Decal
    Vintage 1940's Presto Brass Fir...
    See all


    1. Chase_Jones, 2 years ago
      It is Cooper and Brass if that helps!
    2. RCassano, 2 years ago
      I'm not a fire extinguisher expert, I'm a forensic research analyst. Therefore, what follows is my sorting through seemingly unrelated facts that all have some common denominator. First, I'm guessing your item is a "soda-acid" extinguisher since it has to be inverted.

      What was, until 2012, Underwriters Laboratories (it's now just UL LLC), was initially established in 1894 by William Henry Merrill under the name Underwriters Electrical Bureau. The name was changed to simply Underwriters Laboratories in 1903. In 1904 the UL mark made it's first debut on fire extinguishers. This means your item won't pre-date 1904. The inventor of the Knight and Thomas units was Ralph W. Austin, at least as early as 1923. The patents were assigned to Knight and Thomas Incorporated, which is why they indicate they are the "patentees". This doesn't necessarily mean your item is dated after 1923, as somebody else might have patented the one you have for K & T, although I've not found any earlier mention of Knight and Thomas in the U.S. Patent records.

      Most of Austin's patent applications were in the early to mid 50's. Since the postal service started using MA for Massachusetts in 1963, we can deduce, so far, that your item was made between 1904 and 1963. Reaching further, the CO2 extinguisher was introduced in 1924 and the dry chemical extinguisher was developed around 1928. Both gained more popularity through the 30's and into the 40's.

      Now, all this being said, it's highly possible that yours is one of the first patented by Austin for K & T (in the 20's) because of the rapid-changing methods of fire suppression around that time. I'd have to guess that this model was manufactured less as others took its place. So, by the 30's and 40's, these might have still been around but maybe no longer made.

      If you think this was long-winded, you should read one of my legal briefs.
    3. Chase_Jones, 2 years ago
      Thank you so much! It is a soda-acid extinguisher. It has the original glass bottle you would put the material in with it as well.
    4. RCassano, 2 years ago
      My pleasure, Chase_Jones. I'm stuck on mid to late 20's for this extinguisher based on analysis of data. I had seen references to The Fire Protection and Equipment Company in Indianapolis, IN before, and my research indicated that they went out of business or were bought out sometime in the 30's. I lost my link to that and can't seem to find it again. I'm certain I recall that, so that narrows your item down to the 20's considering all the other factors.

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.