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As a child Brad Boydston was fascinated with firemen and all things fire fighting related. He even thought about becoming a fireman at one point, but alas, he was born flat-footed and so thought it best to pursue another career. While attending San Jose State College back In 1949, Brad took a job at Manley’s Donut Shop in the Willow Glen neighborhood. He worked at the counter part time, boxing donuts and ringing up customers while Mr. Manley fried the donuts in the back. One day while Brad was working the counter, his hidden ‘fire senses’ were aroused by a whiff of smoke that had drifted to the front of the store. He peered around the kitchen door to see a small fire had ignited on the side of one of the deep-fat friers. Apparently, Mr. Manley had stepped into the alley for a few moments to throw out boxes and in his absence, some of the grease had caught fire.

Brad’s instincts took over and he grabbed a Quick Aid Fire Extinguisher that was hanging on the wall. He feverishly pumped the fire retardant into the blazing inferno until the flames were no more. Mr. Manley stepped back in from the alley just in time to see Brad extinguishing the last lick of fire. After the initial shock wore off, a wave of relief swept over Manley and he realized that perhaps the young college student had saved his business. He promptly awarded Brad a 10¢ an hour raise and two dozen assorted donuts.

To this day, Brad looks back on that day in history with pride in the knowledge that his innate fire-fighting skills allowed countless thousands of people, from all walks of life to enjoy Manley donuts in peace and freedom, amen.


Well we can’t say if this was the actual fire extinguisher that Brad used in the now famous Manley donut fire of 1949, but it fits the period. This cool looking Quick Aid Fire Extinguisher design was first patented in 1938 and was produced by The General Detroit Corp and The General Pacific Corp--probably manufactured in the 1940’s. Made of brass, with an overall length of 13” (with the pump handle fully close) and 3” in diameter. It once held 1 quart of a Carbontetrachloride mix. In case of fire, you’d unlock the handle and pump the rod up and down to spray out the chemical. This old extinguisher features embossed lettering on a red background. It would make a great gift for a fire equipment collector or used displayed as a decorative accessory.

This fire extinguisher is in good vintage condition. The still shiny brass has a nice patina with a slight tarnish and the graphics are still quite legible. There are some surface scratches and scuffs to the brass cylinder but no dents or dings. The pump moves freely and locks into position. The original contents are all but gone--we did not test the pump to see if it still sprays.

General Fire Guard Quick Aid Fire Extinguisher - Brass with Embossed Lettering on Red - "NICE"