“Museums are the banks of our heritage which lend their resources to all who call upon them to inspire and guide their future.” H. Naumer
Beaumont, Texas is home of the Fire Museum of Texas– FREE! It is also a working fire department so we were able to go around the displays while firemen walked around doing their thing. Walt Disney was so impressed that they had their 101 Dalmations DVD launch party at the facility. It is Walt Disney so they built a 24 foot working fire hydrant as a gift for the town – largest in the world.
The museum had the history of fire departments, turns out that Benjamin Franklin was a part of their formation while in Philadelphia. Is there anything Ben Franklin did not have his hands in? There were many old fire trucks from the horse drawn to the more unusual ‘searchlight’ truck. This truck was the first of it’s kind in Beaumont. It is the same truck upon which a young Walter Cronkite rode to his first big story. In nearby New London, a natural gas explosion at a school killed nearly 300 students and teachers in 1937.
The New London tragedy paved the way for mercaptan to be added to gas so it could be detected by smell. A timely lesson for Scarlet too. She about seared her eyebrows off when she turned on the stove top gas and then took a bit of time before she turned the ignitor. The actual sequence of events was 1) Scarlet turns on gas 2) ……… 3) Scarlet asks “What’s that smell” 4) WHOOMPH!!!
We bid farewell to Texas and entered Louisiana after lunch – I’m going to start brushing up on my French.