08/26/15 297 W, 3 I - + 10 - 5 Raleigh's Original American LaFrance Ladder Trucks

Happened upon a reproduction of American LaFrance Catalog No. 20 (1923), via eBay last week. Forty-eight pages and a thick, glossy stock. Printed in 1972. Within are entries for their popular Type 17 tractor-drawn aerial ladder and Type 14 combination service ladder truck. One of each was bought by the city of Raleigh, in 1916 and 1922, respectively.

Here are drawings from the catalog. The service truck says "R.F.D."  Doubtful that's Raleigh, as ours said "R.F.D. No. 2" on the hood. Rochester? Racine? Reno? No telling. Click once or twice to enlarge:


Below are the complete catalog pages. Raleigh's 1916 American LaFrance Type 17 aerial ladder (#1047) had a manufacturing date of February 5, 1916. It was originally delivered in white and repainted red in the early 1920s. Two decades later, the tractor was replaced with a 1939 American LaFrance 500 Series. Note the height of the tillerman seat. That's because the ground ladders were stored in a single stack, instead of side-by-side as seen in later decades. Read more of the truck's history and see some photos, here and here. Click once or twice to enlarge:


Raleigh's 1922 American LaFrance Type 14 combination service ladder truck (#3941) had a manufacturing date of September 26, 1922. It was placed in service on August 10. Cost $9,457.00. The truck was operated as a two-piece ladder company. Based on the location of the reported fire, Truck 1 members would take the service ladder truck (for higher buildings) or the service ladder truck (for lower buildings). Both were housed at Station 1 on West Morgan Street until 1941, when they were moved to Station 2 at Memorial Auditorium. Read more of the truck's history here. Click once or twice to enlarge:

American LaFrance buffs or others, what else would tell about these great old rigs?

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