Our local fire department recently found their first fire truck and we are looking to restore it. Any help the members could provide would be most helpful. If this is not the right forum for this I apologize up front. I can supply pictures if needed.
A Buckeye Three-piston Pump: used for many years on the Howe fire trucks, would NOT need to be from a 1917. Also any parts, or an entire truck for sale with this pump on it would be of interest to us.
Pump accessories: All of the piping, sprockets, chain, chain cover, mounting brackets.
Transfer case: Mounted between the Model T transmission and the drive shaft, secondary shaft sends power to pump.
Chemical tank: 35 Gallon tank.
Hose basket or hose reel: Sat on top of pump assembly, later replaced by a hose reel therefore I believe either would be an acceptable replacement.
Round rubber hose: Sat in basket or wrapped on reel, truck did not appear to carry any flat hose approx. 150 feet.
Suction Hose: One section of suction hose, appears on image, wrapped around front of truck, rubberized finish, with cylinder strainer approx. 20 feet, 3” or 4”.
Pictures please. If it is a model T, this is the place.
Also, what is the story of how they found it?
That is the 4th TT Truck that has been identified. Ford only made 6 TT Trucks in 1917, according to Bruce McCalley and they were unsold proto-types.
Some photos would be nice.
Here is one I have worked on in Maryland.
The following may not be of help, but should be of some interest.
Remember that the actual finished product does not always exactly
match the patent drawings.
Perley G. Howe & Alvan Ray Lambert
Motor Vehicle Fire Engine
Patent number: 1272956
Filing date: Nov 2, 1916
Issue date: July 16, 1918
Enjoy . . .
In addition to seeking help here, you should check out: http://spaamfaa.org/
Thanks for all the responses! Here is some history on the subject. The Fire truck was bought new on April 10, 1917 by the Strausstown Volunteer Fire Co # 1, Strausstown Pa. and purchased for $1800.00 from the Howe Fire Apparatus Co., Anderson Indiana. The unit was equipped with a 250 GPM Buckeye Triplex Piston Pump, a 35 gallon chemical tank, and approximately 300‘ of hose. The pump system had failed probably in the 1930’s and all the metal fire apparatus became a victim of the scrap drives of WWII. Sometime in the early 60’s the remaining truck was sold to a 3 gentlemen partnership. One of the gentlemen showed it to me probably 20 years ago and had since passed away. Late last year a very community supportive family purchased it from the owners with their intent to restore it and make it part of the Fire Company again.
Now, that is just pretty cool!! I don't have any real Howe fire trucks but have a couple of their cast badges from the 50's or 60's. If you get a chassis for it and get it back ready to run I'll donate a rebuilt carburetor to the project. Just let me know when you need one. Stan HOWE
Thanks Stan! We do have the running gear and engine for it and I will let you know when we are ready for the Carb. Rob
Robert, I should point out that the apparatus in your picture is NOT a truck (not on a Model T "truck" chassis)... So as you are looking for parts, you don't really want any "TT Truck", or "Model T Ton Truck" parts. The apparatus in your photo is a 1917-ish Ford roadster body and the "regular" Model T car chassis. Get hold of one of the historians at SPAAMFAA (Maybe Matt Lee; He has written some books on apparatus made around the turn of the century). The people who "really know" about this sort of thing can probably tell you where the records of the Howe Co are today, if they still exist, and it may actually be quite easy to obtain copies of the original build sheet and photo of this truck with a little simple investigation...
Just a thought from me.
If that is going to be restored? (A debatable choice given its condition) I would recommend getting another hood (easy item to get) and keep that hood unrestored to display with the truck to show the original lettering.
Just a thought.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Wayne has a great idea! That car could look cool all dolled up, but since a hood is a hood is a hood, grab (or maybe someone would donate) one and repaint it, hang that awesome old one up in the firehouse.
A "trademark" of the Howe pumper was the "squirrel tail" suction hose wrapped around the front of the car or truck.
I have this 1917 marked as from Turlock , CA.
I have this one marked as from Scio, NY.
This one in a TT chassis for the military.
This one looks like a standard chassis with a form-a-truck attachment of some kind.
I have this one marked 1918 from Glenwood.
Too much fun!
: ^ )
Howe's records and archives were all trashed back in the 80's after they were purchased by Grumman and moved to Virginia. Tha Anderson, IN public library supposedly has a few record books
Looking at the photo of the un-restored firetruck, I would recommend not restoring the hood of the car, it is original and still recognizable, there is only one original hood, you can buy a reproduction hood to repaint and display on the restored car. If you strip and repaint the original hood, it will not be original, and will no longer exist, and it will be no better than any other repainted hood.
It looks like your "Scio, NY" photo is actually the Strausstown car.
I agree about the hood--I would also carefully document the paint on the rest of the car body, it looks pretty good for a pattern at least.
Without seeing the rest of the car and the rear axle, it would appear that the Strasstown fire truck was not a TT at all and may have been a fire chief's car or a T roadster with an auxiliary rear axle assembly to change it to a T truck.
Pardon my barging into this string, but I've just joined the group because I'm working on a fire truck from my home town and getting her back into running order. Hoping that I could tap some of the expertise that I see here with this group. I have many photos of the truck I am working on, but very little "Reliable" information. In the photo, the hood is painted with 1916, but the truck engine block is dated with 1917. The truck has historically been labeled "The 16", but this only represents the Incorporation date of the village. Could anyone give hints on how to properly identify the vintage of the truck build and or the builder? I can provide some detailed history on the truck if that would help and as I said, I have many photos of this truck that I can post.
'17 or newer depending on engine # - nice rig - appears to an American LaFrance Chemical unit - can you post photos of the rear & maybe a close up of how the siren is mounted ?
Here's my project.
Welcome to the forum.
As Steve says, it appear to be an American LaFrance chemical car. Look to see if there is a builder tag anywhere on it. The engine will have a serial number above the water inlet on the side of the block. Tell us the number and we can tell you more about your rig. Also on the left side of the engine there might be a cast date.
Here is the body tag on Tod Wirth's 1915.
I see a below the axle radius rod which first appeared in 1919, but it could have been changed out at some point along with the wheels, which look to be 21" with 4.40/4.50 tires. (Sears Allstate tread?)
: ^ )
Thank you for the quick "Out of the Gate" observations. The engine number is 2071624 and the casting date on the block is 7-11-17.
The siren is mounted with three machine screw and nut assemblies. I don't have a good photo of the back but will get a better shot posted soon.
I have looked over the whole truck and have yet to find another tag of any kind that identifies the builder. The truck is currently housed at the station in my home town, but will be returning to my garage this weekend. I'll post better photos at that time.
There is a period correct hose reel on EBAY, right now.
Thanks for the additional photos, Paul - very nice rig ! The chemical unit appears to be American LaFrance and I'm mounting our siren the same way - it's an identical Sterling to yours. I just have to fabricate the hose basket that straddles the tanks.
Is the rear spring have "tapered" or "clipped" ends ? The front appears clipped and with that engine casting number, it could be getting into the 1918 model year.
Note the pre-1917 bulge in the splash aprons.
I did notice that, Keith - good point.
1917 splash aprons have a bulge.
I have a May '17 roadster and my dad has a July '17 touring. Both cars have the bulge.
The ends of the rear springs are tapered.
If I can offer any dimensions or additional photos of our basket, let me know what you need.
Would the hose reel listed on Ebay be correct for our truck and does it mount in the basket over the tanks? What about the foam nozzle that's listed as well? What bulge is it that you are speaking of in the splash apron?
I ran across this post while doing a search. It is a couple of months old but I thought I should add to it for those that might be searching for information in the future.
Paul Bowser's fire truck is not an American LaFrance (ALF). It looks to be a AJAX Fire Engine Works fire truck. AJAX called this piece of fire equipment a Type 5.
There were quite a few manufacturers of fire apparatus for the Model T and the two tank chemicals, like this one, was probably the most popular design. Because of this, it is easy to misidentify one. Unfortunately I have.
Hear is a rear view of the AJAX
Without going into all of the details, there is a key feature that sets the ALF apart. The AJAX, along with some others like the O.J. Childs/Utica and Prospect two tank chemicals, use tank supports and ladder brackets that are fabricated from strap iron and angle iron.
Here is a rear view of an early ALF (the hand wheels for the tanks are missing in this photo for some reason).
ALF on the other hand, uses casting for the tank supports and ladder brackets.
To make things more confusing, both ALF and AJAX (and Childs also) use Champion style chemical tanks that are very similar in design.
If you want to see the variety of fire trucks built on the Model T chassis, I would suggest getting Bill Killen's book "Firefighting with Henry's Model T Second Edition"
I have also sent Paul Bowser a PM to let him know.
Thanks guys for all your comments and observations.One of the most interesting threads in awhile!
Is there likely to be any more information on the AJAX Fire Car Company any place at all?
I sent James Golden a PM with more information.
I have to little information on AJAX at this point other than some ads. I have much more information on the ALF and Prospect Model T fire trucks. I also can be of some help with some of the other makers such as O.J. Childs, Hallock, Boyer, Howe etc.
If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me.