Motor era engines
Early motorized fire engines were
decorated like the horse drawn ones...
Motorized vehicles entered the landscape gradually. In the first decade of the 20th century vehicle painters were pin-striping both carriages and automobiles. Steam fire engines and the new fire trucks had very different body shapes to decorate. The motorized vehicles had their frame and working parts covered with sheet metal. Fenders became larger and more important parts of the vehicle's design. All that sheet metal needed decoration so that the odd new machine would look like a fire engine.