more Fire Apparatus


Restoring the gold leaf decoration
on antique fire apparatus.

I have worked on the restoration of several other fire apparatus besides pumping engines. Below are a few examples such as a hose carriage, a chief's car, a fire boat and more.

silver badge Plymouth FD1850s Eagle Hose carriage running gearFire Gold shop with 1850s Eagle Hose carriage restoration.1850s Eagle Hose carriage spool and tool boxes with hand carved wood wreath Tool box on1850s Eagle Hose carriage with date it was sold to Ansonia FD

Below is a photo from the 1920's of this hose reel in a parade. The hose has been replaced with flowers for the parade. This carriage belonged to a volunteer fire department in NYC before the Civil War. After the war the department was disbanded and in 1871 the carriage was sold to Ansonia CT. It has hand carved wood foliage and eagle heads, delicate iron work, elaborate etched glass lanterns and a stuffed eagle on top.

badge for hose carriage in NYC Parade photo of Ansonia hose carriage with stuffed eagle on top.hand carved eagle heads on fifth wheel of 1850s Eagle Hose carriagesilver badge Plymouth FDTool boxes on 1850s Eagle Hose carriage

The vehicle below is a speedster made from the tractor of an American LaFrance ladder truck.

1908 photo of Lakeville Hose Co. Nott hose cart restored by Firefly Restoration hoseman badgeStripes on Nott hose cart by Peter Achorn pin-stripes on Nott hose cart



The scrolls and stripes on this hose cart are done with gold colored paint made from bronze powder in varnish. It gives the effect of metal without the expense of gold. It was seldom used by fire engine factory paint shops, but is often seen on repaints of fire apparatus.



In 2002, soon after the September 11, 2001 attack, Firefly Restoration restored a piece of FDNY's historic apparatus. The Fire Department chose to have a hose wagon restored for use as a funerary caisson. Many people from across America donated their time and talents to the project. Ken Soderbeck of Hand-In-Hand Restoration designed and executed most of the decoration. I worked on the draw pole, fenders and a few other small details. It was a meaningful experience and I was grateful to participate.



For the 50th anniversary of the FDNY fireboat John D. McKean, the crew of Firefly Restoration traveled to New York City. We spent a few days working on the historic vessel. My part was to repaint the Maltese cross on the smoke stack.

Maltese cross shield painted by Peter Achorn.