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Historic truck gets overhaul

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 25th, 2014

Ed Banks, former firefighter and member of Watsonville Firefighters Association, stands next to a 1915 Seagraves fire engine. It iwas the department's first motorized piece of fire equipment. (Photos by Todd Guild/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Fire Department purchased a 1915 Seagrave Engine nearly 100 years ago — its first motorized apparatus.

The truck was built to carry hoses and men, and was equipped with a pump capable of shooting 1,000 gallons per minute.

In those days, getting a vehicle of any kind was a momentous occasion.

It was a time when the Ford Motor Co. had just begun paying its workers $5 for an eight-hour day, wages that were unheard of in those days. Those workers labored on the company’s fledgling assembly line, which had started production a few months before.

Decades past its retirement, the gleaming red engine still calls Watsonville home, and can still be seen cruising the streets during parades and other events. For the rest of the time it is on display at the Watsonville Fire Department Chief Gene Friend Fire Museum.

Now, after an engine overhaul set the Watsonville Firefighters Association back approximately $20,000, the organization is hoping to recoup its losses and fill its coffers by combining the Seagrave’s 100th birthday with a fund drive.

For the complete article see the 06-26-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-26-2014 paper.

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