1948 LaFrance

 

 July 1948 when the truck was delivered to East Hartford

 

 

Ladder 2 outside the East Hartford fire headquarters on Main Street in 1975

 

 

Ladder 1 at the museum

 

In 1946 East Hartford, CT ordered their first aerial ladder truck. The American LaFrance 700 series was built in four sizes: 65', 75', 85' and 100'. East Hartford's was a 75' unit with a three section main ladder. The truck was also equipped with 208' of various size ground ladders. Delivered in July 1948 the truck served as the town's only aerial piece until a 100' tractor drawn unit was delivered in 1969. The 1948 truck now became Ladder #2 when a second ladder company was established at Company 3 on Burnside Avenue.

In 1974 the truck was sent to Imperial Fire Apparatus in New Jersey to have a Cummins diesel engine installed to replace the LaFrance 12 cylinder gas engine. The truck was also converted to air brakes at that time. In 1984 a new aerial truck was purchased from American LaFrance and the 1948 unit was retired having failed on the road due to a bad rear end. The Warehouse Point Fire District in East Windsor purchased the truck at auction and had it sent to American LaFrance in Elmira, NY. A Century series cab was installed and the truck was repainted and had more up to date cabinets installed. This was one of the last trucks to be worked on in 1985 when the Elmira plant closed after it's parent company Figgie International no longer provided needed funds to run the plant.

The truck served Warehouse Point Fire District until it was retired for the second time in its life in 2003 and donated to the Connecticut Fire Museum. 

Story and photos courtesy of Bert Johanson   

 

 

 

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