Friday, March 31, 2023

Friday Fun - '48 Firetruck

As stated over at the Valley Local website (in case you didn't know - there is such a thing ;^):

This site is dedicated to information on life in the Connecticut River Valley during the early post-war period. While all aspects of that period are fodder for exploration, the primary focus is on re-creating the day-to-day movement of freight along the picturesque Valley & Airline branches of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad during an Autumn day in the late 1940s.
So, sometimes, I post about something other than railroading or my layout depicting it.

Case in point: Yesterday, and for the first time, I took my car to the local Ford dealership for an oil change. Now, it just so happens that that dealership has been in Old Saybrook since 1913 and will eventually show up in my Saybrook scene somewhere. So I figured while I was there waiting, and considering they're one of the oldest Ford dealerships anywhere, I'd see if they had any old photos that I could use for reference.

Well, turns out not only did they have some photos, but the guy I was talking to said: "I saw an old movie once of a Ford firetruck that Old Saybrook bought - and it was filmed right here. Maybe you can find it."

Just a quick Google search later, and find it I did!

Apparently, Old Saybrook was one of the first (if not the first?) purchaser of Ford's new "combat fire truck" and FoMoCo commissioned this movie to commemorate its use. Sadly, there's no audio (well, I'd definitely recommend that you mute the era-inappropriate ragtime music that was dubbed in), but remarkably - and speaking of era-appropriateness - guess when the movie was filmed?

Right in the middle of my chosen modeling era: 1948(!!)

So sit back and enjoy this short little piece of Americana - and a really cool glimpse into late-1940s Old Saybrook.


  1. I was one of the last to ride the tailboard in my FD in the early 90s. Albeit on a much bigger apparatus...

  2. Very cool Chris. I started on the FD in 1979 and rode backstep on a 1957 GMC Maxim engine. Fun times....