Restoring a piece of history: Firefighters in Illinois to restore original 1939 engine

  • Source: WQAD-TV ABC/MyNetworkTV 8 Moline
  • Published: 08/10/2023 12:00 AM

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Silvis firefighters are taking on a new project: restoring an 84-year-old fire engine to its former glory. The city purchased the American LaFrance engine in 1939 and it was used as a frontline fire engine until 1964. Faded paint on the side shows it was engine #2. "It was traded in and it kind of disappeared," Silvis Fire Chief John Winters said. "We suspect that it was sold to a farmer who then used it for either watering crops or providing water for his animals. It was found in the barn years later." Winters first learned about the old engine a few years ago when he was contacted by a man who had purchased the old truck and planned to restore it. The man was gathering information about the history of the engine and noticed a plaque on the side with the names of the 1939 Silvis mayor, fire chief, and aldermen.


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