From the collection of Wayne Stuart – unknown date, location, and photographer.
Posts Tagged historic truck photos
From Steve Redick:
I cranked up the wayback machine for a long overdue session….Here’s a shot I believe I may have gotten from Chuck Madderom. A very rare image of the famous Snorkel Squad 3 operating with a Snorkel. I have no info on this location or date, but I LOVE this shot. This is the same rig, the original Snorkel, that was restored by ALF back in the 90’s. As many of you already know my dad was the captain of this company, and I did ride on one of the foam pressures a coupla times when I lived on Erie Street. That house is now gone too.
Here’s a good old fire fan photo. A still alarm 59th & Lafayette or Lasalle maybe even Perry … not sure now … mid 70’s … fire venting out the side and a truckman holding the door shut after forcing it while the engine leads out. My dad is visible in the white helmet on the right side of the photo. I rode in the 12th battalion buggy to this job. Typical fire in the old 12th battalion in those days.
Don’t remember the date for this next one, but I was coming home from some tavern and took this in. Probably about 0300 or so, I’m thinking the late 80s. This was a pretty well known restaurant if I remember right..can anyone add more info?
Let’s look at one more. Detroit lost 3 members in a major warehouse fire back in March 1987. This cartoon appeared in the paper the next day. I thought so much of it I bought a lithograph of it from the paper. This has always been a touching image for me.
This from Larry Shapiro:
I visited last week and took some photos to remember the Snorkel.
And the DesPlaines Valley News has an article …
There’s a story that former Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn invented the Snorkel fire truck in 1958 by running a hose up a cherry picker truck and pumping water down onto a fire.
While the first snorkel [was a] converted vehicle,
GMC[Pierce] produced the first original Snorkel fire truck in 1959 for the Chicago Fire Department.
“For some reason, they did not purchase it and it wound up in Bedford Park,” said Bedford Park Fire Chief Sean Maloy. “I’m told Bedford Park got a good deal on it.”
For the next 20 years, Bedford Park firefighters used the GMC Snorkel to battle fires and drive in parades.
“In 1980, we gave it to public works for use as a work truck,” Maloy said. “About 15 years ago, they stopped using it.” The truck sat for years in a Public Works parking lot.
Eventually, firefighters decided they wanted to restore the vintage piece of firefighting equipment.
“We had it towed to the fire yard. We wanted to restore it,” Maloy said. “We set aside $30,000. We wanted to make it pretty for parades.”
Then the other shoe dropped.
“We had it evaluated,” Maloy said. “We found out it needed a lot of body work and a new engine just to make it able to run.” He said the needed repairs would have doubled the cost of restoring the snorkel. “We decided it wouldn’t be a prudent use of another $30,000 that would have to come from the village,” he said.
Reluctantly, the village sought bids for the truck. There were no takers. “We were asking for $5,000,” he said. “I wish I could have had a collector come in and grab it. Unless someone comes in to take it, a piece of history will be going to the scrap yard. I’ll hate to see it go.”
Maloy said he’s in no hurry to junk the vintage apparatus and is willing to hold onto the truck for a little while longer.
“I’ll leave it here until about October,” he said. “After that it’s going to the junk heap. I’d probably take a dollar if someone offered to take it off my hands,” he said with a joke.
Anyone interested in acquiring the snorkel should contact Maloy at the Bedford Park Fire Department. His number is 708-563-4510
A historic look at apparatus over the years from the Dixmoor Fire Department.
More from Dennis McGuire, Jr. who visited the Dixmoor Fire Department on December 1, 2013 when the department was formally shut down. He submitted a few images from that morning along with a video clip. Dennis also provided a historic overview of their most recent and past apparatus which will follow tomorrow.
The final video … 20131201_Dixmoor
Karl Klotz visited the Bedford Park Fire Department and spoke with Chief Sean Maloy about the restoration project that they have underway of their 1959 Snorkel.
The unit is a 1959 GMC/Pierce/ 65′ Pitman Snorkel. This was the first Pitman Snorkel built. It was designed for the Chicago Fire Dept, but refused due to the overall length and tandem axle. The Bedford Park Fire Department made an offer and subsequently purchased the vehicle.Snorkel 5 (later re-numbered 712) entered service in Bedford Park in 1959 and served until 1979 when it was replaced by the Seagrave Snorkel 705.In 1979, it was passed down to the public works department where it was used by the street light division until approximately 1995. From that point on, it sat in the back parking lot of public works unused.Currently it is sitting inside Bedford Park Station 1, where it is in the process of a complete overhaul. Mechanical work is being performed by the fire department mechanical staff in house. After completion of the mechanical work, it is slated to go to Automotive Mentoring Group (AMG) for body repair and refinishing.The project is being funded in part by the BPFD Foreign Fire Board and the Village of Bedford Park.
From another reader:
“Hey recently, I visited Bedford Park Station #1 and observed a work of love in progress. The Bedford Park Fire Department finally brought home their very first Snorkel, which has been left outside their public works yard rotting away for over 20 years, to start a desperately needed refurbishing. Some mechanical work will be performed in-house with bodywork to be completed at a local business. For those that do not know, this Snorkel is of historical significance, as it was the very first Snorkel actually produced by the Pitman Company for the fire service. It is rumored that this Snorkel was spec’d out by the late Chicago Commissioner Quinn only to be rejected because of it’s overly long wheelbase, which would’ve proved too difficult to maneuver around the city streets. Bedford Park jumped at the chance and purchased it. Snorkel 5 is a 1960 GMC chassis with a V8 gas engine and manual transmission with a Pierce body.”
Dennis McGuire, Jr. submitted images of the Snorkel during it’s stay in the public works yard.
This from Bill Friedrich:
I am sharing some old Cicero photos from my collection. I did have the opportunity to photograph the 700 series American LaFrance when it was nearing the end of its career.
This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.:
A friend of mine sent me this photo of what remains of the Hendrickson/Pierce squad of Chicago as of this year.He said it was up north in Minnesota somewherewhat a shame it couldn’t have been saved.
A few images from when the Snorkel was assigned to SS1 and Snorkel 4.
Saving the most impressive of the CFD turret wagons for the last, this article includes images from Jack Connors that show all sides and closeups of 6-7-3, otherwise known as Big John when it was new.
Another installment on the history of turret wagons in the Chicago Fire Department from Jack Connors. Images depict Big Mo as it was on two different chassis. It was assigned as 6-7-2 originally on a 1953 International 6×6 chassis which was painted black over red. This unit carried shop #G-248. It was later remounted onto 1957 GMC 6×6 chassis in the blue and white colors of the Civil Defense carrying shop #G-157 .
Images from Jack’s collection are featured from Ken Little and George Brown in addition to Jack’s own photos.