02/10/10 216 W, 2 I - + 3 - 7 Mattydale Lay

Let's talk about hose. The first leather (fire) hose appeared in Holland in 1672 or 1673. The first metal-riveted (leather?) fire hose appeared in Philadelphia in 1807, and the first rubber fire house was developed around 1839. Then cotton-covered rubber hose appeared in 1870. Two- and four-wheel reels carried this hose, which couldn't be carried in any other effective fashion.

About 1878, seamless cotton hose was developed. This was capable of being packed flat, and hose wagons were developed as alternatives to reels. Then motorized hose wagons supplanted horse and hand wagons, and which led to pumping engines. As different sizes of hose were utilized on the same apparatus, rear hose beds were partitioned accordingly.

In 1947, Fire Chief Burton L. Eno of the Mattydale Fire Department in New York designed a new method of packing hose. Instead of parallel placement in the rear of the truck, he devised a platform above the pump for perpendicular storage. This was designed for rapid deployment of attack lines, and was first installed on the department's 1939 Buffalo engine. The Mattydale lay, as it was known in the north, was the original cross lay / speed lay / transverse lay.

Reader Barry Furey shares a couple pictures of the original engine, currently on display at the New York State Firemen's Home in Hudson. Click to enlarge:

When were cross lays added to Raleigh apparatus? Was it really as late as 1989, with the first Pierce pumpers? Looking at pics of the prior 1986 EEI and 1985 Pirsch, they all appear to originally be without. And all the Macks were cross lay-less, no? Retrofitted later, right? http://legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/appar..
Legeros - 02/10/10 - 08:29

Nice history lesson….
Silver - 02/10/10 - 22:04

You’re right Mike. The first three Pierce Arrow pumpers were the first engines with “factory” speed-lays. The other engines were slowly retrofitted after these apparatus were placed into service.
A.C. Rich - 02/11/10 - 01:20

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