Historical information

A stirrup pump is a portable reciprocating water pump used to extinguish or control small fires. It is operated by hand. The operator places a foot on a stirrup-like bracket at the bottom of the pump to hold the pump steady. The bottom of the suction cylinder was placed inside a bucket of water. Water was drawn by pumping the handle up and down to create suction. The pumps were used in a variety of settings to enable quick action if a small fire broke out. They were a vital tool in London during the Blitz of World War 11. On the local level they were also used for spraying fruit trees, plants and vines.

The Crescent Tool Company was founded in 1907. The Crescent brand has changed ownership multiple times. It is currently owned by Apex Tool Group but still also trades as Crescent in Australia.

This pump was donated by Geoff Williams of Wodonga and was used at "Orange Vale" farm at Oxley Flats near Wangaratta. "Orange Vale" was owned by Mr. Robert Williams. Widely known as "Uncle Bob". in the 1940s Mr. Williams opened up the family property, established in the 1860s, as a camp for young people from Wangaratta. By 1951, this had extended to catering to group camps for children from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. 250 children could be accommodated at one time and as many as 3,000 children enjoyed the facilities each year.


These pumps were important in fire fighting in a range of settings and were adapted for use in agricultural and small farm settings,

Physical description

A brass stirrup pump with wooden handle. It consists of 2 parallel brass pieces, one with a foot piece attached to keep the pump steady. The base of the pump is fitted with a pierced metal filter that prevents grit and debris being drawn into the pump and fouling it. 2 butterfly screws enable adjustment of height and securing a hose.