Davenport Fire Department: 1928 American LeFrance Hook and Ladder

One thing we have learned in Special Collections is to always look for glimpses of history in unusual sources.

We recently caught such a glimpse courtesy of a minor traffic accident that occurred at 15th And Gaines Streets on August 27, 1944 at 4:50 p.m. on an otherwise uneventful afternoon. No one was seriously injured and the cause of the accident was not contested.

Our excitement may seem strange, but our find involves the report and accompanying photographs for the accident—which involved a passenger car and a Davenport fire truck, for which we previously had no images and no information.

The truck was Hook and Ladder Truck No. 2 stationed at 1225 Harrison Street. It was an American LaFrance hook and ladder with 600 gallon-pump and 40-gallon chemical tank placed in service on March 22, 1928.*

Two views of the truck.Fire Truck Right 194.600Note the bell by the driver’s side in the photo above.

Fire Truck Left1944.600It appears to be leaking oil on the bottom. Also note the ladder and hose attached to the side from this view.

The Annual Report for the City of Davenport, Iowa 1944-45 indicates the truck was declared a loss from the damage sustained in the accident. It was replaced by a new Peter Pirsch Jr. 65 foot aerial truck.

We hope you enjoy this peek back at the Davenport Fire Department—and we reassure you, they were not to blame for the accident!

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*Annual Report for the City of Davenport, Iowa 1927-1928, Pg. 60.

(posted by Amy D.)

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