Create Account

Any words Exact Phrase
Enlarge Text
A A A

Q: Can you tell me how old this fire engine is and if it's worth anything? The information printed on it is: "Champion Chemical Engine, American LaFrance Fire Engine Co., Factory 27227, Elmira, N.Y." and "40 Gallon Chemical Fire Engine, Tested 350 lbs."

A: Truckson S. LaFrance and his partners started the LaFrance Manufacturing Co. in 1872. He held several patents for fire engine boilers, pumps, valves, and other improvements. LaFrance merged with American Fire Engine Co. in 1904 to form American LaFrance Fire Engine Co. The company is still in business. Chemical fire engines or extinguishers powered by a combination of acid and soda were first used in the 1860s. Bicarbonate of soda was added to the water in the tank and combined with sulphuric acid, which produced a chemical reaction that forced water from the tank into the hose. Several companies made chemical fire engines, including American LaFrance. Yours is narrow enough to be pulled through doorways by a firefighter. Chemical engines were used by firehouses until the 1930s, when water tanks with boosters became more common and expensive chemicals were no longer needed. Your chemical fire engine is from the early 1900s and is worth between $100 and $200.

lafrance manufacturing company chemical fire engine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Login to leave a comment.


Join The Discussion

Kovels.com is pleased to share your comments. Your postings may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in our print publications. We encourage a variety of opinions, but ask that you refrain from profanity and hate speech. To post comments, you must be a registered user of Kovels.com. Please remember that your username will appear with any comments you post.

Get The Latest Collecting News Every Week for FREE!

Enter your email below to receive Kovels Komments for the latest antiques & collectibles news, answers to readers questions, marks and tips. In your inbox every Wednesday.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Please refer to our Privacy Policy or Contact us for more information.
Kovels Premium