1908 : The Nation’s First Factory Built, Motorized Fire Engine Goes Into Service in Lansing

December 17, 2018 all-day

Lansing, Michigan leads the way by putting the first factory built, motorized fire engine into service on on December 17, 1908.  By 1910 motorized fire engines were being produced by all the major manufacturers.

Here’s a photo of a 1911 Packard Fire Truck in Detroit.

Here’s another photo of Detroit firefighters posing with their new Seagraves pumper engine, which was put into service in 1916 (Detroit Historical Society).

However, not every community could afford to upgrade all of their horse-drawn fire engines.   Detroit’s did not retire all of its horse-drawn engines until April 10, 1922.  This Detroit Historical Society photo shows the final ceremonial run of one horse-drawn fire engine down Woodward Ave at Adams.


WAKV (Plainwell, MI), The Memory Station

Detroit Historical Society

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