Jim and Cindy's
1949 Ward La France

Fire Engine

 

“Rosie”--Engine 734

 

This rig was purchased new from the Ward La France Truck Company, Elmira , New York in June 1949 by the Roseville , MN Fire Department as their very first pumper. It was fully outfitted and completed by the Flour City Body Company in Minneapolis to the specifications of the Roseville FD in June 1949.

 
Rosie saw first line service from 1949 to 1979. She was then placed into second response service from 1979 to 1989.

 

From 1990 to 2003, she was placed on “parade” status and was used for parades, city functions, fire musters, and other public events. She sat outside, covered with a tarp in 2003 and 2004, at which time she was purchased and brought to Eau Claire by a collector.

 

Rosie has a 517 cubic inch displacement, Flathead 6 cylinder Waukesha Motor, along with a 4 speed transmission. She weighs in at about 15,000 pounds or about 7 ½ tons! “ Economical” is NOT her middle name, getting about 5 miles per gallon. Her structural framework consists of steel and wood.

 

She is all original, as when she was serving the department. Some additional hardware, work lights, and emergency equipment, has been located and will be replaced on her to reflect a true working engine once again.

 

Rosie was the featured Fire Engine for the Burnsville, MN Fire Muster in 1992 and appeared on all advertising: posters, T-shirts, buttons, and plaques for that year. She went on to win the pumping competition the following year, 1993, by being the quickest to draft and then pump to her maximum rate and beyond!

 

Her pumps have yet to be tested since retirement, but soon will be and she’ll become 100% active again! For now, she will continue her public displays: car shows, parades, etc.