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"How To" Books

Shakespeare for Kids

Cyprian Lucar. A treatise named Lucarsolace. London, 1590

Books have always been important ways for people to share information or to learn something new.  In Shakespeare's time (1564–1616) and for several centuries afterwards, London was one of the biggest producers of books in Europe. People were excited about reading books on many different topics, from history to cooking to learning how to make fireworks!


Look at the large picture on this page. Does it look like anything you might see today? Hint: These vehicles are usually red and have loud sirens.   


The author of this book was a man named Cyprian Lucar. He wrote about many different topics, including weapons and surveying.  In this particular book, he calls this machine a "squirt" and tells readers that it can "be made to squirt out his water with great violence upon the fire that is to be quenched.”

Samuel Rolle. Shilhavtiyah. London, 1667

Did you know?

Fire engines were used against the Great Fire of London in 1666. However, they did not work very well. They had water spouts but no hoses, so that the water could not shoot very far. The crowded streets, high flames, and difficulty getting to water also caused problems.

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