It has ages since I have presented any stories. Since May, I feel like I have had one thing after another comprising much of my time. I have many topics and stories I want to post, but there just never seemed to be time. Today, I am making time….
Town council had ordered a new pumper for Hose Company #4 from the American LaFrance-Foamite Corporation, located in Elmira, N. Y. This new pumper will feature a V12 190 horsepower engine, and come equipped with a 750gpm pump. The biggest news was the great feature the truck was eqipped with. The new seven passenger canopy cab that provided additional comfort and safety to those riding. The seating arrangement is such that two men face forward with the driver, while the other four enter through and asile at the back of the truck and face the rear of the truck
The article stated that the truck would not arrive until mid August and that the cost of the truck was $9,950. This truck replaced the old ‘White’ fire truck used by Hose Company #4 since the early 20’s. This image is the only known photograph of the 1944 American LaFrance, which appears to be a stock photo provided by the American La-France company.
The first motorized fire apparatus used by the members of Hose Company #4 was a Lozier limousine purchased from a millionaire in Oil City, PA. This limousine was chain drive and the members had a fire apparatus body fabricated and installed by Henry Shaffer Company of Kittanning. It was said that this Lozier would often carry the first place trophy in hill climbing competitions held by firemen in Western Pennsylvania. The White was ordered in 1924 and offered a 350gpm Hale pump. There are not any known photographs of either the Lozier, or the 1924 White fire trucks.
The Lozier company produced luxury automobile from 1900 to 1915. These were top line luxury cars and for a time were the most expensive cars produced in the United States. The 1910 model line featured cars priced between $4,600 and $7,750. The same year, a Cadillac could be had for about $1,600 and a Packard $3,200. The average annual salary in America that year was approximately $750. In 1913, the company introduced the 88 hp Big Six, with electric headlights. The limousines and landaulettes were priced at $6,500. With several financial issues between 1913 and 1915, and a failed attempt to merge with Ford Motor Company, the company declared bankruptcy in 1915 and closed.
The White Motor Company produced car and trucks from 1900 until 1980. White also produced bicycles, roller skates, lathes and sewing machine before the Second World War. Whites early automobiles were steam powers, but saw the increase acceptance of the internal combustion engine, and in 1908 licensed the rights to the Delahaye gasoline engine. White produced many trucks beginning after World War I. The continued to produce until 1980 when the company was insolvent, and would be acquired by Volvo in 1981.
I am seeking pictures of the Lozier and White fire trucks used by Hose Company #4. If you have any information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Simpson’s Daily Leader Times, April 11, 1944
A Century of Service ( A Brief Look into the Past 100 of Kittanning’s Bravest)
White Motor Company http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Motor_Company