JF Ptak Science Books Post 2572
Jan van der Heyden, a 17th century Dutch inventor, engineer, and artist, shared in his sensibilities in illustration a certain profound sense of color and depth of the Golden Age, even though he was working in just black and white in this capacity. He was the inventor of the fire hose, and was in charge of firefighting acting at the pleasure of the governors of Amsterdam, employing innumerable new technical benefits in the art of fighting fires as well as a "radical" new approach to dealing with fires. (Which was a fine and very important thing, given the compactness of Amsterdam and all). In 1690 van der Heyden and his son published a revolutionary work1 on firefighting that explained the apparatus (the best of which he manufactured and patented), which is seen by experts as being perhaps the greatest book on firefighting ever published. My interest was drawn to it by the illustrations, which really are quite spectacular (a number of them were engraved by van der Heyden himself). There are numerous nighttime scenes of firefighting, as well as some forensic images of post-fire situations, and of course images of the apparatus. (The content of the book were thoughtful and quite modern in presentation, with chapters dedicated to the old fire fighting equipment and then the new, a history of 40 years or so fires in Amsterdam, plus sections on buckets, ladders, hooks, tarpauline, the arrangement of the fire house, and of course the fighting of fires. It is an impressive work of a high order.)
Perhaps the most interesting image for me is the cross section of a burning house at night--offhand I cannot recall an earlier, architectural image of such a thing.
[Image source: Van der Heyden, Fire Fighting with Water Hoses and the Method of Fighting Fires now used in Amsterdam, translated by Lettie Stibbe Multhauf, and published by Science History Publications, 1996, opposite the header for chapter one, page 12.]
For other images, please see "Jan van der Heyden and his firefighting book" at Princeton University Library, Firestone Collection https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2015/01/30/jan-van-der-heyden-and-his-firefighting-book/
One of the spectacular images of the book:
Source, Princeton University Library, Firestone Collection https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2015/01/30/jan-van-der-heyden-and-his-firefighting-book/
1. Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712), Beschryving der nieuwlyks uitgevonden en geoctrojeerde slang-brand-spuiten en haare wyze van brand-blussen (Description of the Newly Discovered and Patented Hose Fire Engine and Its Way of Extinguishing Fires) (Amsterdam: Jan Rieuwertsz, 1690).