Today we are publishing the story of the transition from horse or man-drawn fire equipment to motorized engines in Marin County. The story is told in the larger context of the transition within the fire service at large. Thanks to retired Larkspur Chief William "Bill" Lellis for this interesting feature.
At the time of the transitions in the early 1900's, the population in Marin County was very small but growing, due in large part to relocations from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. Roughly 15,000 people called Marin home in 1900, only 6% of what it is today. As a result, Marin fire departments never had any steam fire engines or 'hand tubs' in use, also known as 'hand engines'. Only hose carts and wagons were in use by the time the first motorized engines came on the scene.
However, there were fire departments around the San Francisco Bay, such as in San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Rosa, that have did have hand engines and/or steamer engines, and therefore underwent a more complex transition. Read all about it by going to the More menu>Historical Fire Apparatus>The Transition to Motorized Apparatus, or by clicking on the button below.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith