Hall of Flame

Museum of Firefighting

Motorized Apparatus

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The listing below contains information on seven of the museum's major holdings of motorized apparatus.  Return to the listing of all motorized pieces by clicking here.

Page 6

Year
Nation
Maker
Description

Picture

1951
U.S.
American La France
Model 700 Triple Combination Fire Engine. Ex - Miami, AZ.

American La France introduced the model 700 in 1946.  The cab forward / midship engine model increased maneuverability, allowed easy access to the pump and engine, and seated a full engine company. This made it unnecessary for crewmen to ride to the fire on running boards or the rear “step”, a practice which killed hundreds of firemen.  Soon all American manufacturers copied the “cab forward” style.  It continues to dominate fire engine design.

This rig was used by the town of Miami, Arizona.  It was in service until about 1985.  It has American La France’s largest engine, the V-12, and a 1,250 gpm pump.  It has unusual swivel connections for its suction hoses that allow the pump  to be hooked up to a hydrant in a shorter time than the usual method.  It has a complement of other equipment, which has been removed to make boarding the engine more convenient. The city of Miami, Arizona donated this fine fire engine to the Hall of Flame in 1996. 

 

1915
U.S.
Robinson
"Jumbo" 1000 gpm Rotary Pumper. Ex-Gila Bend AZ FD.  Originally used in Globe, AZ.

In October of 1998 the Hall of Flame received a rare Robinson fire engine on loan from the town of Gila Bend, Arizona.  The rig was purchased from the St. Louis manufacturer in 1915 by the mining town of Globe, Arizona, and sold to Gila bend around 1940.  After a few years it was retired and left in storage. 

In 1993 the firefighters of Gila Bend began its restoration, and the project was completed in 1997.  It has a 1,000 gpm rotary pump and a large hose bed.  It apparently did not have a chemical tank.   It is powered by a 1,000 cubic inch six cylinder T-head engine.  Only one other Robinson engine is known to be in existence.  It is owned by the town of Staunton, Virginia, and has been fully restored.

 

1957 U.S. Van Pelt/ Diamond T Triple Combination Fire Engine with High Pressure Fog Capability. Ex - Timberline - Fernwood AZ FD. 

Originally used in Flagstaff AZ.

 

In the summer of 2001 we received the donation of a 1952 Van Pelt fire engine from the fire department of Timberline - Fernwood, Arizona.  This community lies a few miles north of Flagstaff, on the main highway to the Grand Canyon.  The Flagstaff FD originally purchased the rig from Van Pelt. 

Van Pelt was the West's largest maker of fire apparatus, with a reputation for quality.  Our rig came with a big 900 cubic inch Hall-Scott gasoline motor and a Hale 1250 gpm single stage pump.  It also came with a Hardie high pressure fog pump with two delivery hoses, and a 500 gallon booster tank. 

After about 30 years with the Flagstaff FD, the rig was sold to the volunteers of nearby  Timberline - Fernwood, who used it mostly as a brush truck, since its high pressure fog pump allowed for pump and roll operation.  It was also quite useful for structural  and vehicle fires because of its large main pump and its high pressure fog pump. 

During the 1990s the firefighters of Timberline - Fernwood repainted the rig and removed the bumps and dings acquired during its long service life. With it looking so nice, they hated to take it out on brush fire runs in the woods.  

The rig was approaching its 50th birthday, an advanced age for first line fire engines.  The decision was made to donate it to the Hall of Flame.  A Timberline - Fernwood firefighter drove the rig from Flagstaff to a firefighter workshop in Mesa, Arizona, where it was placed on display.  Following the display Hall of Flame volunteers and staff drove it to the museum in nearby Phoenix.   

We're glad to have a rig that was built by Van Pelt, especially with the Hall-Scott engine, which was highly regarded for power and reliability by western fire departments. We've also been looking for a chassis by Diamond T, which is regarded as one of the premier American truck builders. 

Beyond a few accessories, some minor paint work, and new upholstery for the driver and officer seat, the piece is in top condition.  It is pictured above at the Timberline - Fernwood storage building.

 

1924 U.S. American La France Type 45 Triple Combination Fire Engine.  Ex- Pullman, WA FD.

 

This engine was delivered to the Volunteer Fire Department of Pullman, Washington, where it was in first line service until 1961, when it was placed out of service and sold to a retired Pullman firefighter.  He used it in parades for about thirty years.  It was sold to Mr. Jonathan Ornstein of Paradise Valley, Arizona in 1992.  Mr. Ornstein donated the rig to the Hall of Flame in 2007.  

Don Hale restored the engine to its original configuration in 2008.  The engine has a 1,000 gallon per minute pump of the rotary style.  Its original chemical tank was replaced with an 80 gallon booster tank.  It can carry over 1200 feet of hose.  These capabilities  make it a “Triple Combination” fire engine.  It also carries an extension ladder, but it was rated only as an accessory, like an ax or pike pole.  

The straight six T Head engine has three spark plugs per cylinder.  The three spark plug configuration sets it apart from the Type 12 engines, which had only two spark plugs per cylinder.  The engine was thus designated the Type 45.  There are no other differences between this engine and the much more popular Type 12. One set of plugs is powered by a battery and controlled by a distributor.  Two sets of plugs are powered by a magneto.  This allowed the engine to continue running even if the battery became depleted.  Three plugs also provided multiple sparks to ignite the low octane gasoline used by motor vehicles in the 1920s. 

Most American La France engines in the early 1920s came with hard rubber tires.  This rig was delivered with pneumatic tires that allowed it to reach a top speed of about 35 miles per hour.

   

1948 U.S. Buffalo Sedan cab  fire engine.  Ex West End Fire Co., Stowe, PA.

We are indebted to the members of the West End Fire Company of Stowe, Pennsylvania for the donation of their carefully maintained 1948 Buffalo custom saloon cab fire engine in December of 2007. 

Museum volunteer Mark Kauffman, who grew up near the Company, convinced the firefighters of the West End Fire Company that the museum would be a fine home for their rig.  The Company owned the rig for its entire life, adding improvements without changing the truck's elegant appearance.  Its original Hercules gasoline engine has been replaced by a diesel.  

The Buffalo Fire Appliance Company of Buffalo, New York enjoyed an excellent reputation for the quality of its pumpers, chemical engines, quads and city service ladder trucks.  Between its founding in 1922 and its demise in 1948 the company built thousands of pieces of apparatus. 

The design for our rig was introduced in 1939.  Its sleek appearance is based on the art deco principles that influenced rival builders like American La France. 

Despite its high reputation, the company suffered financial losses that forced it to close its doors in June of 1948.  Our rig was one of the last to come from its assembly line.

 

1916 U.S. NETCO (New England Truck Co.) Hose Truck

Museum member and volunteer Jeff Trevas recently donated his nicely restored one of a kind New England Truck Company hose truck once used by the fire department of Worcester, Massachusetts. 

NETCO, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, built commercial trucks between 1914 and 1938, including a few pieces of fire apparatus.  Jeff has done quite a bit of research on the truck.  It was built in 1916 on a Model F chassis as a hose truck for the Worcester Fire Department at a cost of $2,450.  Its original engine was a Continental straight four.  

Worcester is fairly hilly, and the truck had difficulty getting around town.  In 1930 the WFD did an extensive rebuild.  They managed to squeeze a six cylinder Continental engine into the little truck.  They also added a thirty gallon booster tank below the officer's seat and piped the water to a PTO driven 75 gpm  rotary gear pump.  Lastly they installed a hose basket from a surplus rig and filled it with booster hose to supplement its 500 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose .  The truck was retired sometime during the 1950s.

Jeff has completed a fine restoration.  The truck is in excellent running condition.  

 

1966 U.S. Mack Truck Co. Model C Cab Forward Fire Engine. Ex - Baldwin, NY

 

The Baldwin, New York Fire Department purchased this Model C fire engine from Mack in 1966 and operated it on first line status until 2010, when it was donated to the Hall of Flame.  Unusual for 1966, they ordered an open cab rig.  It is a triple combination, with a 1,000 gpm Waterous pump, a 500 gallon booster tank, and the capacity for over 1,000 feet of large and small diameter hose.  Baldwin FD refurbished the engine in  the 1980s and kept it in spotless condition.  The truck is one of the most popular of the Hall's parade rigs.

 

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