Harden Star Fire Grenades

Contributed by National Trust South East

Harden Star Fire Grenades

Glass globe extinguisher known as "Fire Grenades" were popular in workplaces and the home in the 19th century. These examples from Uppark in West Susex are Harden Star Grenades 'water-bottle' fire-extinguishers, the most popular brand of fire grenades well into the 20th century.

Priced at 45 shillings per dozed the grenade was designed to be thrown into the centre of the base of the fire. The glass would shatter on impact, putting out the fire and saving the home or business.

Extravagant claims were made in advertisements about the grenades effectiveness, with the company claiming over 600 outbreaks of fire having been extinguished by the use of the company's grenade.

The grenades were also potentially harmful, which later grenades being filled with Carbon Tetrachloride which although efficient at extinguishing flames. The chemical was highly toxic and could enter the human body through the skin and inhalation causing damage to lungs, kidney and liver.

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