The American LaFrance decorations evolved as the truck bodies changed. All the different scrolls painted over the years were made from the same few leaf forms. The scrolls were built up from brush strokes, similar to how letters in calligraphy were formed.
The gold leaf scrolls have painted shadows added to make them look 3-dimentional. Fine lines and dots of white are added to enhance the carved appearance. In sunlight the white lines disappear on the reflecting gold. In shadows and indoors the lines highlight the details of the scroll. Small areas of green give an extra accent to some designs.
Fire engines in Art history
- FIRE ART
- FIREMEN & ARTISTS
- AMERICAN STYLE
- PAINTS & BRUSHES
restoring Fire Art
- FIRE GOLD
- SIGNS & BOATS
American LaFrance engines
Restoring the gold leaf decoration
on American LaFrance fire engines.
The American LaFrance Company has a long history. It is the descendant of several earlier hand engine and steamer manufacturers. In 2007 it turned 175 years old. The decoration used on these motorized engines comes from the LaFrance Company steam era engines. The LaFrance Company was started by Truckson and Asa Hyenveux. These French immigrants found that Americans could not pronounce their name, so they changed it to LaFrance.