Apparatus Lettering

doverchief2

Firefighter
In regard to lettering, I have noticed that if you run into a modern piece of apparatus with two tone shading (usually green, less frequently blue) you can almost always trace back to a point where the department had an Ahrens-Fox- other builders would occasionally shade this way, but by far it was most common with A-F. Ditto the practice of plates with city officials listed, occasionally you see that on current pieces and it was common practice with A-F, probably as a sales tool. As far as the ornamentation on early Seagrave (up to mid-thirties) apparatus, I have heard or read that some of the workers in Seagrave's lettering shop were German immigrants who had worked in the pottery decorating industry in their native land, which would make sense as the ornamentation on many Seagrave pieces was very floral and highly stylized, and the Seagrave plant is just down the road from Columbus' German Village neighborhood. Of one thing there is no doubt, Seagrave definitely was more apt to put a lot of gold leaf decoration on their rigs. In closing I would observe that the current practice of using vinyl or mylar lettering is fine, but design has utterly died as a result. Lettering and decoration is now perfect, even, symmetrical and without quirks or flaws where ornamentation of years ago was done by hand and looked much better,mainly because it was done to satisfy the artist's eye, and if it was done by a good practitioner, with a good eye for design it ALWAYS looks better than computer cut & that is because what is technically correct and what is pleasing to the eye are often two different things when it comes to aesthetics.
 

photoman475

Lieutenant
Pirsch also used blue shading with gold leaf lettering into the late 1940s, perhaps the early 1950s. That may have been their standard at the time, but I don't know that for certain.

I do know that unless otherwise specified, black shading was used from the late 1950s on for Pirsch.
 

photoman475

Lieutenant
And when was the last time you saw a bison on a fire truck? This logo adorned Fargo Engine 803. The rig had an engine fire and since been sold for salvage. I don't know if the new E803 has been given this yet.

The logo is for the North Dakota State University Bison. the three-peat winners of the Division I FBS football championship game. Engine 803 is first due on campus.
 

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Engine 16 Box Responses
Staff member
Howe fire apparatus used this style of gold lettering with black shading for many years.
 

Attachments

Box 2565

Engine 16 Box Responses
Staff member
Ex-Monroe OH
1947 Chevrolet/Central
Original lettering from the driver's side door.
Steve Hagy photo.
 

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fyrboy

Firefighter
Asheville, NC. First is from their 2015 Pierce Squad 1, second is from 2018 KME E6 (same as KME E1 displayed at FDIC in April - another is due for E9 shortly), in tribute to the third, a Model 17 Gleason & Bailey hose wagon, delivered January 11, 1899 for $530, billed as "1000 pounds lighter than previous wagon; hose in layers, not on reel." Sold to Seagrave representative in 1915.
 

Attachments

Box 2565

Engine 16 Box Responses
Staff member
fyrboy said:
Asheville, NC. First is from their 2015 Pierce Squad 1, second is from 2018 KME E6 (same as KME E1 displayed at FDIC in April - another is due for E9 shortly), in tribute to the third, a Model 17 Gleason & Bailey hose wagon, delivered January 11, 1899 for $530, billed as "1000 pounds lighter than previous wagon; hose in layers, not on reel." Sold to Seagrave representative in 1915.
I really like the way the lettering on the KME is in a bit of a wave. A bit of a throwback to the 1800's!
 

Box 2565

Engine 16 Box Responses
Staff member
College Corner, Indiana purchased a 1966 Ford/Howe engine that I photographed on July 7, 2019 at the Germantown, Ohio muster. This engine is in outstanding condition as is in original paint.
 

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