Alert PW Guy Saved Hamden Taxpayers the Cost of a New Truck
November 23, 1964 - Reading the little blurb beneath the news photo below, you might get the impression that this truck fire occurred near the Quinnipiac College (now "University") campus in Mt. Carmel. Not so. The complete article below the photo blurb reveals that the truck actually caught fire near the old Quinnipiac College "campus," once located at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Servoss Street. Originally known as Larson College, the building is now an upscale assisted living residence called Larson Place.
Even though the news photo is a little murky, the company officer is clearly Luke Tobin, who had been promoted to lieutenant a few months earlier.
The New Haven Register, Tuesday, November 24, 1964 (Courtesy of Chan Brainard)
Luke Tobin in 1964
The 1964 shift calendar indicates that "old" Platoon 1 was working the day of the fire. The guy with the white helmet shield in the above news photo looks like Lt. Luke Tobin, who was on old Platoon 1.
Luke Tobin came on the job in December 1949. He was promoted to lieutenant in early 1964, and to captain four years later when Bob "Bubby" O'Donnell was appointed Fire Marshal. Luke was part of the negotiating team that bargained for and won the 42-hour workweek. Luke Tobin retired 30 years ago next week and passed away in February 1993.
Having a Ball!
Right before Thanksgiving, in almost every year from 1934 until 1974, the Hamden Fire Department held an annual firemen's ball. It was a grand occasion during which the men and their wives could enjoy a formal evening of dancing. The sale of tickets and "ad book" advertising also made money for the Hamden Paid Firemen's Sick Benefit Association. This week the website focuses on the 1961 Hamden Firemen's Ball.
The first step for the Ball Committee was to ask permission of the Fire Commission for the department members to solicit advertising and sell ball tickets door-to-door in their dress blues. Permission was always granted.
November 15, 1961
From the September 11, 1961 minutes of the Hamden Board of Fire Commissioners
Once the Ball Committee engaged a band and hall for the affair, tickets were printed for department members to sell door-to-door. Local businesses were solicited to buy ads in the ad book. Despite the fact that the ad book had a very limited circulation - basically just the ball attendees - buying an ad was a good investment. Ad books were kept and members were encouraged to patronize the businesses therein. After 53 years some of these businesses are still around.
Thanks to Sid Trower's family and Chan Brainard, the website has some images of artifacts from the 1961 Annual Firemen's Ball.
CLICK ANY OF THESE IMAGES TO ENLARGE
CLICK to enlarge
Actual ads from the 1961 Firemen's Ball Ad Book. What did these businesses have in common? (CLICK to enlarge) This ad page was recreated from the actual ads that appeared throughout the program. They did not appear on the same page.
252 local businesses purchased ads of various sizes in the 1961 ad book. Of these 252 businesses, fifteen still exist. Fifty-three years later, the website is pleased to acknowledge these fifteen survivors for their generous patronage in 1961.
Golden, O'Neill & Gebhardt, Inc. (Insurance)
Albert L. Porto Funeral Homes
Hamden Auto Parts
Beecher and Bennett
Hamden Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Mt. Carmel Package Store
(Mt. Carmel Wine & Spirits)
Brown Stone House
Peter Torello & Son Funeral Home
East Rock Package Store
Hamden Memorial Funeral Home
At left is a sampler of some of the actual ads that appeared in the 1961 ad book. Do any of our web visitors know what these businesses had in common with each other? Answer next week.
This ad page was recreated from the actual ads that appeared throughout the program.
They did not all appear on the same ad page in the original program.
1968 Firemen's Ball
November 12, 1968 - Firemen's Ball (Courtesy of Gil Spencer)
West Haven's Maxim Open Cab 75-foot Aerial Ladder Truck
West Haven's 1959 (or 1960) Maxim 75' Aerial Ladder (Courtesy of Chan Brainard)
When we published the photo of Southington's 1959 Maxim open cab cab-forward pumper two weeks ago, we suggested that it might have been Maxim's first open cab version of that model. Website visitor and retired Allingtown firefighter Bob Martens wrote, "The Maxim salesman for this area must have had one hell of a year in 1959! I am almost certain that West Haven's Center District bought an open cab forward engine and 100' mid ship truck that year." Bob noted that there was a Maxim ad that stated that the West Haven truck was a 1960 model, "but I believe the apparatus was purchased the prior year." Thank you, Bob.
Well, thanks to our old friend Chan Brainard, here is what appears to be the pre-delivery factory photo of that West Haven Maxim open cab aerial truck - a 75-footer, actually. Does anyone out there know the model year for sure?