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Historical Fire Apparatus Account
Aerial Ladder Truck
A 1975 photograph
At the helm (the tiller) is Coroporate Secretary Xian Clere
John Gaspar handles the front end of the big Seagraves...
The Pine Street Fire House in Springfield, MA - now the areas Senior Center
Delivered to Springfield, MA the tractor was ordered to replace a 1914 Knox tractor. The Knox tractor was purchased to motorize an older Seagrave ladder truck that was originally horse drawn. In 1929 the original ladder truck had become obsolete so Springfield ordered a new 85 ft. aerial ladder from Seagrave, this was placed under the 1914 Knox. By 1932 the Knox had become undependable and was replaced by the present 1934 tractor.
Powered by with Seagrave Model F "T" head engine; 1013 ci, 79HP. The Model F engine was used by Seagrave until replaced in 1935 by the V-12 which Seagrave had designed in 1931. This truck still retains the original Model "F" engine.
The 85 ft aerial ladder is of wooden construction, consisting of a bed and fly ladder. The main ladder is raised from its bed by releasing a pair of heavy coil springs; the upper or fly section is extended manually by turning big hand wheels. Two men were required to raise the ladder and extend it to its full length. Model metal aerial ladders could be operated by one man as all functions of the ladder are performed with hydraulic cylinders.
The truck also has 200' of ground ladders that range from 16 feet to 50 feet. In addition it carries a generator, lighting equipment and miscellaneous rescue tools.
The truck was in service until 1973 when a museum member purchased it at auction and donated it to the museum. Its final assignment had been Ladder 13 located at the Pine Street fire station.
Story and photos courtesy of Bert Johanson
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