Members of the Washington Fire Department recently announced that a rare, motorized fire engine that entered the city in 1913 will go on display at the Fire Museum of Maryland.
According to information gathered by several firefighters, in 1913 the City of Washington made the decision to change from horse-drawn fire equipment to a motorized fire engine. In December of that year, the City purchased a 1913 Ahrens Fox (Model A) pumper (Ahrens Fox is a manufacturer like Ford or Chevy). Ahrens Fox was located in Cincinnati and would have been the premiere builder of fire engines.
“This is a very rare and excellent example of an early motorized fire engine, and it came from the Washington Court House Fire Department,” Washington Fire Department firefighter Martin Rennison wrote in an email recently. “We learned the City budget in 1913 was $10,000 and they spent $9,000 on the new fire engine, 90 percent of their budget that year.”
According to the information provided, the 1913 Ahrens Fox remained in service for 45 years until 1958 when it was replaced by a second Ahrens Fox that was purchased in 1925 (Model J) and was in service until 1979.
In 1958, the Model A Ahrens Fox was put up for sale and sold to a person from the Cleveland area. According to firefighters, locally there was considerable dissent of the decision to sell it. The pumper was placed in a building and off limits to viewing where it has sat ever since being passed in ownership from a father to a son.
In August, the fire department learned the Fire Museum of Maryland had purchased the 1913 Ahrens Fox pumper, and it will go on display in their museum in Lutherville, Maryland (near Baltimore). The pumper is in original condition and is the oldest motorized Ahrens Fox fire engine known to exist.
On its Facebook page, the Fire Museum of Maryland has been sharing updates about the fire engine. From fixing spark plugs to cleaning, the museum has continued to inform the public on its progress.
Additionally, this weekend on Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the museum is hosting an “Honoring Our Heroes Motor Muster,” where they will be showing off the 1913 Ahrens Fox as well as many other interesting fire engines to the public for free.
The Fire Museum of Maryland is located at 1301 York Road Rear in Lutherville, MD.
The information in this article was provided by the Washington Fire Department. Check The Fire Museum of Maryland for more information and updates on the 1913 Ahrens Fox (Model A) Pumper.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.