There is quite a history to fire extinguishers dating back to the first record of a patent in England in 1723. The photo to the left is an example of a fire grenade.
This consisted of a glass sphere filled with Carbon tetrachloride or salt water, that was intended to be hurled at the base of a fire.
The copper soda-acid extinguisher, popular among todays collectors, mixed a solution of water and sodium bicarbonate with tartaric acid, producing the propellant CO2 gas. Later a soda-acid extinguisher used the reaction between sodium bicarbonate solution and sulfuric acid to expel pressurized water onto a fire. Come see the extensive collection and broad range of extinguishers at Engine House No.5 museum.