115 in HIGH x 78 in WIDE x 166 in|151 in DEEP
(292.10 cm HIGH x 198.12 cm WIDE x 421.64 cm|383.54 cm DEEP)
Gift of Oakland Fire Dept.

American La France Fire Engine. Description: "Metropolitan" (pulled by 2 horses) steam pumping engine, nickel plated, painted "American La France" red. Patent plate reads:"Mar. 10, 1891, Oct. 25, 1892, Apr. 18, 1893, Jul. 25, 1893, May 1 1894, May 12, 1896, Oct. 20, 1896, May 3, 1898." American LaFrance Fire Engine plate reads: "Patented May 3, 1898, No 919 Fox Sectional Water Tube Boiler. Wheels embossed "Archibald Wheel Co., Lawrence, Mass." History: Used at turn of the century by the Oakland Fire Dept. Built by Amer...Co, Seneca Falls, N.Y. in the Metropolitan plant in S. F. Metro. was absorbed by Amer...Co., founded in 1845 at Seneca Falls, N.Y. Remarks: One of three specimens as of 1/25/77. From The History Information Station: Object: Fire engine. American-La France steam-powered water pumper used by the Oakland Fire Department from 1898 until 1921. History: Steam-powered fire pumpers were kept ready for action. The water in the boiler was kept hot even when the engine was in the station. On the way to a fire, a flash fire would be lit in the fire box to bring the already-hot water to a boil and to ignite the long-burning coal. Steam from the boiler powered a two-cylinder steam engine which, in turn, powered the pumps. At the fire, the pumps drew water from a hydrant or sometimes a well, and forced it under pressure through the hoses. The shiny pulsation dome regulated the water pressure in the hoses. The gauges measured the steam pressure in the boiler. The engine was extensively restored before being placed on exhibit in the museum. The new paint job features the original "LaFrance red,"a color that was discontinued in the 1930's but was specially mixed for this job. from exhibition label in Cowell Hall of California History: Polished...and Ready for Action These were intricate machines, born of the wedding of steam with steel, as were so many of the labor-saving devices of the late nineteen hundreds. Unlike the old handpulled pumpers, it could be operated by a relatively few professional firefighters and could spurt water tirelessly. At the tap of the engine company's signal, the horses trotted into their position beneath the "quick hitch" assembly, and the rig was ready to move in less time than it took to start the motor trucks that began to appear about 1910. This American LaFrance two-horse pumper was the pride of Oakland Engine Company #4 in 1898. Its dual pumps threw as much as 1500 gallons of water a minute at blazes in Oakland until it was retired -- along with the last of the magnificent firehorses -- in 1921. Oakland's first Black fireman, William Williams, drove this pumper. In April 1906, this was one of the engines that crossed the bay to help the San Francisco Fire Department hold successive lines against the great fire that swept the city after the earthquake. G. Weininger, 8/2002: Manufacturer's label reads "Patented May 3, 1898 No.919 Fox Sectional Water Tube Boiler American LaFrance Fire Engine Co. Seneca Falls, N.Y. Cincinnati, Ohio." Plate at base of boiler reads" R.S. Chapman Sales Agent San Francisco, Ca."

Used: Oakland Fire Dept. | Horse | Metropolitan plant | Old City neighborhood

Bookmark and Share