The earliest engines were small and were either carried by four men, or mounted on skids and dragged to a fire. As the engines grew larger they became horse-drawn and later self-propelled by steam engines. John Ericsson is credited with building the first American steam-powered fire engine.Until the mid-19th century, most fire engines were maneuvered by men, but the introduction of horse-drawn fire engines considerably improved the response time to incidents. The first self-propelled steam pumper fire engine was built in New York in 1841. Unfortunately for the manufacturers, some firefighters sabotaged the device and its use of the first engine was discontinued. However, the need and the utility of power equipment ensured the success of the steam pumper well into the twentieth century. Many cities and towns around the world bought the steam fire engines.