Handtub Junction, USA

Handtub of the Month

January 1999

Hancock #1  -   Townsend, MA.

hanckt.jpg (279087 bytes)

Although the Hancock #1 has not competed in muster competition almost 2 decades, to the long time muster fan, it still one of the premier muster engines ever built. Built by Cowing & Company of Senaca Falls, NY, it's beginning is told to use in the Cowing & Co. book :

"Hancock #1 , a 10" machine built for the Hancock Engine Co. of Charlestown, Massachusetts, and delivered April 10, 1861, was Cowing's greatest pride. It was nine months in the building and one of the best and most costly engines ever produced by Cowing. It was retired April 30, 1865 and purchased by Brockton Heights a few weeks later, where we understand it was still in active service as late a 1904."

In 1908 the Hancock won it's first of 6 New England League Championships at  the 18th & largest League muster ever held at  Lowell, Ma on Aug. 20th of that year. It's winning stream of  226' 10 1/4" out distanced 62 other competitors on that summer afternoon.   On April 19. 1909 the Hancock # 1 at a playoff with the other 2 Brockton engines at the time the Protector #3 and the Colombian #5 shoot a stream of 263' 4" which at the time was a new record for hand engines and to this day is a still the personal best for this Cowing engine. It would again win the New England Title in 1909 and also in 1911, 1913, 1915 and 1977. It has won $30,182.35 in muster competition.

From Brockton it was then sold to Richard Walsh of Newbury, MA who in turn sold it to Townsend, Ma in 1975. It was a regular on the muster circuit for the next several years and also won the N.E. League crown in 1977. In the Early 1980's the Hancock #1 faded from the scene and has not been seen in competition since. While it sits silently in some dark dwelling one can only hope that it has not seen it's last muster and that one day it will return to the muster glory it once enjoyed and come and take it's place with the elite engines of the New England League.

If anyone as anything that they would like to add or has any photo's of the Hancock #1 they would like to see on here, please email me or mail it to:

Handtub Junction, USA,  PO Box 359,  Southborough, MA 01772

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