In the 19th century, when most Americans used wood-burning stoves and fireplaces for cooking and heating and many folks lived in homes constructed of wood, fires frequently destroyed whole neighborhoods and even whole towns. The first fire-fighting techniques in cities-like a bucket brigade-soon gave way to more sophisticated means of fight-fighting. The invention of the pumper, a large water tank on wheels, delivered more water faster than a line of fire fighters passing buckets, and projected it further to reach the fire. When fire fighters hitched the pumper to a team of horses, water arrived at the fire that much faster. By the 1920s, municipal fire departments used automotive trucks to speed water delivery.