Sold by Britannic Auctions for $108, this very rare circa 1900 photograph features a “first size” steam fire engine from the American Fire Engine Company of Seneca Falls, New York. Notably, the photograph is linen-backed, a method of mounting and preserving photographs during the early 1900s.
The American Fire Engine Company
Founded in 1891, the company initially introduced the “Columbian” model, tailored for fire stations in major cities.
By 1898, the company unveiled the “Metropolitan” model, which quickly rose to prominence as its best-selling engine. This photograph captures one of these early models, showcasing the company’s innovation and quality craftsmanship.
In subsequent years, the American Fire Engine Company merged with other manufacturers to form the International Fire Engine Company, further shaping the landscape of fire engine production in the United States.
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