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APPARATUS
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1860 Hand Pumper
1888 Silsby
1899 American Steam
1900s A.L.F. Ladder Wagon
1903 American Steam
1905 Nott Steam
1907 A.L.F. Steam
1915 Chief's Car
1915 Ford A.L.F.
1916 A.L.F. "Disneyland"
1923 A.L.F. Ford TT
1924 A.L.F.
1924 A.L.F. Home Gardens
1925 Stutz
1925 Ford Model T
1927 Chevy Phaeton
1928 Seagrave
1930 Moreland
1947 Ford Wagon
1954 Mack B-85
1955 Crown Triple
1970 Chevrolet Ambulance
1965 Crown
1972 Dodge D300
1973 Ward LaFrance
1981 A.L.F.

 

1899 American Metropolitan
Built at the Aarons Fire Engine Co.

 

Los Angeles City·5s·3s·24s

1916 American LeFrance

1899 American Metropolitan

This is similar to our 1903 except that it is one size bigger and four years older. It was also built at a different plant,  it was built in Cincinnati, Ohio at the old Ahrens Fire Engine Company. The 1903 Metropolitan was built at the Seneca Falls plant in New York. The Ahrens Fire Engine Company merged into the American Fire Engine Company.

This apparatus served the Los Angeles Fire Department from 1899 to 1921. This fire engine made the last LA City horse drawn run in June of 1921!

From 1899 to 1907 it served as Engine Company 3 for the City. It then went to Engine Company 5, and in 1919 it ended up as Engine 24. This steam engine produced between 900-1000 gallons of water per minute, and would have been pulled by three horses.

The fire engine was put in reserve in June, and was sold in 1924 to MGM Studios. This was also used in the movies, like our 1903 American Metropolitan. Hello Dolly and Old Chicago were a few of the movie pictures that this was used in.

This was sold along with all the horse drawn and other vehicles that MGM owned, fire engines, gatling guns, milk wagons, vegetable wagons, stage coaches, cannons, etc. to Melody Ranch. Phil Ruthorford and his father, through the Melody Ranch, turned around and rented the same equipment back to the studios.

It ended up in the hands of Phil Ruthorford when Melody Ranch dissolved. The Museum Association became aware of this engine in 2000 and went to visit Phil at his barn in Brawley, California. In the barn there was not only this steam engine, but another Los Angeles Fire Department steam engine and a horse drawn hose wagon. The engine was covered in a heavy layer of dirt, dust, and cobwebs. But even so, it was an amazing site to see them sitting there in such amazing condition, so complete, and so original.

The other steam engine and the hose wagon were not in nearly as good of shape, but a deal was struck and all three pieces were purchased, and all are now on display at the Museum. This steam engine was missing its seat, so we had to have one fabricated, and we had to reproduce the original steam nozzles, called play pipes. We also had to find a bell to replace the one missing, and a steam whistle.

Otherwise, we found the original tools sitting in the toolbox, hanging on the frame near the boiler was the original style torch that was used to light the boiler when you were ready to go to work. There were still coal in the coal box and still coal in the fire box in the bottom of the boiler in this engine.

This is really an amazing piece. We plan on doing a frame off restoration on this within the next five or six years to return it back to its original and operational condition.