Seagrave Apparatus 1960-1969


Massillon, OH.

All Cab-forward Seagrave apparatus at Central Station in 1978

photo from an old Kodak Instamatic Camera negative


Bklyn Phil

Seagrave Rear Admiral RM Rear Steer Ladder truck 1964

Screen captures from beginning of video @ 10 & 20 Sec.

Narrative accompanies video
"Mike G
Published on Jun 2, 2016

If you're a fire apparatus history buff, this film is nothing less than solid gold. Seagrave introduced its "Rear Admiral" aerial design in August, 1964 with production models coming the following year. The intent was to get the longest aerial on the shortest possible wheelbase. The "Rear Admiral" was 10' shorter than a midship aerial with an equal length ladder. The rig, built on a 224" wheelbase, featured "A-frame" stabilizer jacks, which were 150" center-to-center. The aerial had a 200 lb tip load. As can be seen the original design featured "rear steering," which was engaged at 5 mph and was designed to help spot the rig on fire scenes. The "rear steer" design proved not to be cost efficient and was discontinued after 1967. The first production "Rear Admiral" was delivered in 1965 to Beverly Hills, CA. While rear-mounted aerial ladders were quite common in Europe, they were slow to catch-on with the American fire service. With the "Rear Admiral," Seagrave knocked it out of the park. American LaFrance followed in 1968 with its "Ladder Chief" and all other manufacturers following suit. This Seagrave design was a familiar sight - particularly in New York City during the 1970's "War Years." West End of Pottsville took delivery of a new 100' Seagrave "Rear Admiral" quint in 1977, which served for 15 years. I'm not sure of the reason for this demo, but Louis Dreisbach of Schuylkill Haven was a Seagrave salesman during this period. Video courtesy of the Yorkville Hose Company Film Archive. Seagrave aerial history courtesy of Matt Lee and Walt McCall. Enjoy..."