Cape Girardeau Buys Third Fire Truck

Friday, April 24, 2009
Fire Department Fleet circa 1925

By: Mike Ramsey

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department added to its fleet of 1916 Robinson fire apparatus for improved capabilities. The new motor fire truck was purchased on February 26, 1925. The engine was bought from the General Manufacturing Company of St. Louis and cost $5,400. The new truck is of the metropolitan type, known as the Graham Triple Combination Engine, built on a Graham chassis with a Dodge Brothers motor.

The equipment is mounted on a 1 1/2 ton chassis and when complete weighs about 2 1/2 tons. It had a 158 inch wheelbase and could run up to 50 m.p.h. The rotary pump was equipped with an automatic relief valve and was capable of pumping 120 pounds of pressure at 300 gallons per minute. It also had an auxiliary cooling system and pneumatic tires. The truck had a 40 gallon chemical tank and three smaller chemical extinguishers. It also had 12 and 20 foot ladders and could hold 1000 feet of hose.

The truck was light and quicker and was to be the first out apparatus for fires. Jumbo the Robinson fire engine was to be used only for big fires. This new truck was easier and cheaper to maintain due to the Dodge motor. The truck to the left is the new Graham Engine, the truck in the middle is the 1916 Robinson Engine and the Truck on the right is the 1916 Robinson Ladder Truck. Left to Right Chief George French, Firefighter Niswonger and Tille are shown.

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