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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.

 

1888 Silsby Steam Pumper
Donated by Ward Kimball Estate

 

rotary gears · hand pulled

Silsby Rides Again

Our 1888 Silsby in Fresno, CA February 2012
On the set of a movie about the Fresno Fire Department

1916 American LeFrance

Silsby Steam Engine Company was a fire engine company in Seneca Falls, New York. Our Silsby was donated to the Museum by the Ward Kimball estate. This was put into service in the village of Cedarville, Ohio.

It is not known exactly how long it was in service, but probably until 1920 or so. This small fire engine was not pulled by a horse, it was pulled by firemen to the fires. Small communities did not want to incur the expense of having horses, so their firemen were used to pull the steamers to the fires. Usually small communities with very lttle fire activity had these types of pumpers.

On this Silsby Steam Fire Engine, the fire pump and the steam motor are of a rotary gear design. This means it does not have a piston pump. This is the only rotary gear pumper that we have in our collection.

It is in remarkable original condition, other than having been repainted by Ward Kimball. The vehicle has never been disassembled and it still retains its' original nickel plating. It still has its' original Silsby nozzles,  Silsby gauges, Silsby relief valve and whistle. Of note is the hard suction hose that is on it. This hose remains attached to the pump, and when you would need to use the vehicle, you would pull it to a body of water.  There you would pull the 20 foot  hose off and drop the end of it into the body of water.

Since this vehicle is over 125 years old the original rubber hose has solidified. It is completely petrified, it is as hard as a rock. It would be very difficult to remove it from the vehicle now without breaking it.

This is a very rare piece of history to have in our collection. We continue to thank the Ward Kimball Family for their very kind donation to the Museum.