Posts Tagged historic truck photos

A historical review …

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.

Classic Chicago fire scene photo with old Snorke

photographer unknown

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.

Vintage Chicago fire scene photo

Steve Redick photo

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?

1980s night fire scene near Chicago

Steve Redick photo

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.

lithograph of dalmation crying

Steve

 

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Bedford Park selling antique Snorkel

This from Larry Shapiro:

It appears that the Bedford Park Fire Department was not successful in finding a buyer for the 1959 GMC/Pierce/Snorkel. Recent information was that it would go to a scrap dealer.

I visited last week and took some photos to remember the Snorkel.

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Bedford Park’s original Snorkel as it currently rests behind station 1. Larry Shapiro photo

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Larry Shapiro photo

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Larry Shapiro photo

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Larry Shapiro photo

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Larry Shapiro photo

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Larry Shapiro photo

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Larry Shapiro photo

final days of historic Snorkel fire truck

Larry Shapiro photo

1st Snorkel fire truck built for the fire service

Bedford Park FD Truck 712, 1959 GMC/Pierce 55′ Snorkel. Larry Shapiro photo

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

Thanks Dan

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Dixmoor shuts down their fire department (more)

A historic look at apparatus over the years from the Dixmoor Fire Department.

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Engine 2443, a 1992 Spartan/Luverne 1500/500 formerly from the Chicago Fire Department. It carries CFD shop ID# D-523. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Engine 2433 is a 2003 E-ONE Typhoon 1250/1000. (SN 127675). Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Engine 2453, a 1971 Mack CD 1250/750 formerly from Homewood, Illinois. George Reichardt photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Squad 2405. photographer unkown

 

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Former Dixmoor Engine 4, a 1973 American LaFrance 10000 Series 1250/750 fire engine. (SN C-12-358) photographer unknown

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Squad 1, a 1969 Chevy Step Van. Gary Kadzielewski photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Former Dixmoor Engine 2, a 1953 Chevrolet 500/300. photographer unknown

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Former Dixmoor Engine 1, a 1954 Chevy/Central (st Louis) 500/500. photographer unknown

thanks Dennis

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Dixmoor shuts down their fire department (more)

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.

Dixmoor Fire Department closes

Past and present members one last time. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Taking down old glory. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Running board with all companies out of service. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

The fire department after being shut down. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Closed for business. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Previous posts about this closing can be found HEREHEREHERE, and HERE.

The final video … 20131201_Dixmoor

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Bedford Park FD history – the original Pitman Snorkel

first Pitman Snorkel unit

Larry Shapiro photo

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.
vintage magazine ad for the first Pitman Snorkel unit

Bill Freidrich collection

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.
first Pitman Snorkel unit ever built

Jack Connors photo

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.
fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Karl Klotz photo

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.”

 

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Karl Klotz photo

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Karl Klotz photo

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Karl Klotz photo

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Karl Klotz photo

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Karl Klotz photo

Dennis McGuire, Jr. submitted images of the Snorkel during it’s stay in the public works yard.

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

fire department refurbishes 1st Snorkel ever built

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

 

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Down memory lane …. Cicero

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.

Bill

 

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Engine 1, an Ahrens Fox. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Engine 6. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero engine with personnel. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Early group shot of Cicero apparatus. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Truck 2, 700 Series American LaFrance TDA. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Truck 1, an American LaFrance TDA. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Engine 3. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Hawthorne station. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Morton Park station. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Station 1. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Station 2. Bill Friedrich collection

Cicero Fire Department history

Cicero Truck 2. Bill Friedrich collection

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CFD History … SS1/Squad 5

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 somewhere
what a shame it couldn’t have been saved.
Chicago FD SS1

The remains of SS1, later assigned to Squad 5. radioman911.com photo

 

A few images from when the Snorkel was assigned to SS1 and Snorkel 4.

 

Chicago FD Snorkel

Hendrickson/Piece/Snorkel after some refurb as assigned to Snorkel 4. Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD SS1

SS1, with 1A seen behind it at a fire scene. Larry Shapiro photo

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Chicago FD Turret Wagon History (pt19)

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.

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

View of the rear and driver’s side in front of Engine 8’s house. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

Overhead shot from the second floor. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

Closeup of the hydraulic controls. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

Hose inlets. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

View from the rear. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

The two guns as seen from the rear. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

Hydraulic lift cylinder. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

On-board pump. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

On-board generator. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

Another view of the two massive turrets. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

Additional master streams could be deployed off the front bumper. Jack Connors photo

Chicago FD turret wagon Big John 6-7-3

Impressive front end with chevron striping on the bumper. Jack Connors photo

The previous article in this series (pt 18) is HERE and an earlier post featuring Big John is HERE.

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Chicago FD Turret Wagon History (pt 18)

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.

Chicago FD Turret Wagon Big Mo 6-7-2

Big Mo seen here working at a 5-11 Alarm fire with specials in June of 1969 at 14th and Indiana. George Brown photo

Chicago FD Turret Wagon Big Mo 6-7-2

Big Mo 6-7-2 was built by the CFD shops on a 1953 International 6×6 chassis. George Brown photo

Chicago FD Turret Wagon Big Mo 6-7-2

BIg Mo 6-7-2 at Engine 13’s house. George Brown photo

Chicago FD Turret Wagon Big Mo 6-7-2

The first version of Big Mo at 66th & State. George Brown photo

Chicago FD Turret Wagon Big Mo 6-7-2

Big Mo in the fire prevention week parade in October of 1970. Jack Connor photo

Chicago FD Turret Wagon Big Mo 6-7-2

Chicago FD Turret Wagon 6-7-2, known as Big Mo at Engine 42’s house. George Brown photo

Chicago FD Turret Wagon Big Mo 6-7-2

Unknown date and location with the second Big Mo at a fire scene. Ken Little photo

 

The previous post in this series is HERE.
An earlier post showing Big Mo 6-7-2 is HERE.

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Prospect Heights Fire Department history

Bill Friedrich recently added the image below to his collection, and he asked Drew Smith for assistance in dating the photo.

Prospects Fire Department history

Here is the historical information that Drew provided.

I’ve confirmed the photo is from 1963

A few comments:

  • When the station was first built a neon sign of FIRE DEPARTMENT was installed above the overhead door. Later that sign was replaced with red letters PROSPECT HEIGHTS FIRE DEPARTMENT.  The photo Bill obtained has the new lettering installed. Also, the paint store sign to the left indicates this is a later photo as that paint store existed until the new Walgreens was built. I have photos showing this newer red PHFD lettering with a different occupancy in the paint store’s location. Also when the station was first built there wasn’t a curb between the road and the  apron. It was a gravel transition.
  • Below you can see the years and details of these three pieces.

Year

Type

Signature(s)

Make/Mfr.

Pump GPM

Tank

Other

47

Pumper

#3

173

Ford/Darley

750

500

Purchased new

48

Car

#4

174

Ford

“Pie wagon”

57

Car

?

Ford

Red & white wagon used by fire chief
  • The station wagon was the chiefs car and it would have been used by the first two. There have only been four chiefs in the history of the PHFD:

Fran Foor (1944-1962) *Served as president of IL Fire Chiefs Assn. in 1954

William Andrew (1962-1969)

Donald Gould, Sr. (1969-1988)

Donald Gould, Jr. (1988-present)

  • I’m going to say this photo was taken in 1963 based on the license plates. According to this webpage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_Illinois , in 1963 license plates were dark green with gold letters.  This is how the plates appear to me.
  • This red and white 57 Ford was replaced in 1966 with a Chevrolet Impala station wagon.
  • Between 1964 and 1968 the PHFD purchased three new pieces:

Year

Type

Signature(s)

Make/Mfr.

Pump GPM

Tank

Other

64

Squad

#5

175

Squad 9

909

Chevy

Utility body truckBreathing air cascadeGenerator

66

Pumper

#2

172

Engine 9R

Ford/Darley

750

1000

Twin high-pressure booster reels

68

Tanker

#6

174

Tanker 9

Ford/Darley

750

1500

  • The 47 Ford Darley pumper remained until sometime in the 1970s. In 1973 the department purchased a new Dodge station wagon for the chief, a Ward LaFrance pumper, and it’s first ambulance built on a Dodge van.

 

I have attached a few photos:

Prospect Heights FD 1957 chief's car

  • This appears to be the 57 Ford when it was new. The red license plate with white letters is from 1957.

Prospect Heights FD 1948 Ford van

  • This is the 48 Ford “pie wagon” (that’s what it was referred to by every old-timer when I joined even though it was long gone) It has been restored by someone in the NW Suburbs (no contact info available).

Drew Smith

Deputy Chief

Prospect Heights Fire Protection District

10 East Camp McDonald Road

Prospect Heights, IL 60070

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