VF-56-1: More on 1921 TT Chemical Fire Truck

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VFeditor_Aleesa
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:41 pm
First Name: Aleesa
Last Name: Drennen
Location: Indiana
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VF-56-1: More on 1921 TT Chemical Fire Truck

Post by VFeditor_Aleesa » Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:09 pm

History: On March 18, 1921, the Mount Bethel Volunteer Fire Company of Warren Township, Somerset County, New Jersey paid $598 for a TT Ford Truck. The volunteers made a body for the truck from donated wood. The iron fittings and rails were made and bought from a local blacksmith. The truck was painted and lettered for an additional $50. Fire equipment for this tuck was taken from their horse-drawn chemical engine and mounted on the new motorized vehicle. During its years of service, a battery, starter motor, generator, and a used two-speed axle were added.

Restoration: In 1970 Donald Christie was an active member of the Mount Bethel Volunteer Fire Compay and was given permission to salvage (and keep) the remains of this truck from the woods where it had been abandoned for several years. There were no existing photographs of the truck at the time. Donald got information and guidance from the old minute books of those years. Using the remains of the body as a pattern, he was able to fabricate a new body out of oak. The surviving iron fittings were cleaned up and reused, as was the original motor block, crank, and main bearings. Many hours were spent at flea markets to obtain the needed parts. By 1975, the chassis was complete and painted the body was varnished, and the restoration and final assembly was complete.

Today: Since its restoration, this old truck has been to many parades, fire company events, and truck shows. It continues to draw interest from old and young alike and is a "T"errific ambassador for the Mount Bethel VFD.
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1921TTFireEngRestored.jpg
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