Early to Mid 1900s

Innovation of the Era: The Gasoline Powered Fire Engine

In the early 1900's when the gasoline powered fire engine became available, it was not welcomed by many firemen at first. This new technology was unreliable when it first was used in fire engines. The firemen also loved their horses and did not want to lose them: they were a part of the firefighting team. But, by the early 1920's most fire companies had a gasoline powered fire engine in their department and found them to be a great advantage where fire fighting was concerned.
The rise of the gas powered fire engine brought the fire department into the modern age. No longer dependent on horses or steam power, fire trucks could now haul equipment and firefighters to the scene of a fire quickly and efficiently at a lower cost than ever before. Pictured: 1939 American LaFrance Scout 500 Series.