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Anyone have any idea what this was/is?

Robert Jones

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I almost agree with Terry, and he's probably right. I just question the fact the if that is what it is, does that mean that someone had to CONSTANTLY stand there and pump the whole time they wanted water? Imagine how hard it was to fill the 8 person spa!!! (relax, I'm joking)

I'm on the same track as Terry, but I wonder if the handle has more to do with priming.

Bill, where are you?

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I thought it looked like an old hand-activated bilge pump from a ship. Given the fact that Tacoma is a port, maybe that's where it came from. Did you knock on that floor with a hard object to see whether it sounded hollow and indicated a cistern beneath?

OT - OF!!!


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I don't know what it was being used for there, but it was probably manufactured as a hand-operated boiler feed pump. Not for a residential heating boiler, but a steam engine boiler.

Before a boiler "builds up steam", enough to operate it's steam driven water feed pump, it needs to be fed manually. I have seen horizontal feed pumps that look very much like this.

I can clearly see it was not intended to be mounted on the floor or base, but was to be bolted onto something (a steam engine).

Around these parts, cisterns are always next to the basement, not below. Water is drawn off a tap, located at the bottom of the foundation wall.

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