1941 Diamond-T City Service Ladder Truck 1942-58 Spare: 1958-63
1942 - Costing $7,500, Hamden's brand new city service ladder truck was manufactured by Woods Engineering Service of Topsfield, Massachusetts on an extended Diamond-T truck chassis. This two-tone beauty was delivered to the department in February 1942 and, after being fitted with a 150 GPM pump, booster tank and reel, it was placed in service in April 1942 at Highwood's Station No. 1 at the corner of Dixwell Avenue and Morse Street.
H&L Co. 1 (Highwood) - 1941 Diamond-T City Service Ladder Truck
The 1941 Diamond-T replaced the 1926 Maxim city service ladder truck that was totaled on March 19, 1941, when struck by a trolley car.
When the Highwood station closed on October 1, the ladder truck and Engine 1, the 1942 Diamond-T 600 GPM pumper, joined Engine 2, the 1938 Seagrave canopy-cab 600 GPM pumper, at the newly-renovated Humphrey Station No. 2 at 71 Circular Avenue.
The truck remained in service until December 1958, when Hamden's 1958 Maxim 75' "Junior" aerial ladder truck was placed in service.
As a spare, the '41 Diamond-T was housed at Station 5 until April 1963, when it was sold to New Milford for $2,200. New Milford eventually sold the truck to a Hamden collector.
In the summer of 1986, the 1941 Diamond-T ladder truck made one final appearance in Hamden, at a career-volunteer fire muster held on the grounds of Quinnipiac College during Hamden's town bicentennial celebration.
Chan Brainard photo
Chandler Brainard, an avid fire apparatus buff who grew up in Hamden, sent these 1950s photos of Ladder One on the ramp at Station 2.
Chan has lots of historical Hamden Fire Department photos and newspaper articles that he has offered to share with the website, including his own remembrances of Hamden Fire Department personnel, emergency incidents, and other activites. Many years ago, Chan provided his own copies of the original 1939 photos of Hamden apparatus that were photographed on the ramp at old Station 3. Thank you, Chan!
c. 1953 - Diamond-T ladder truck passes by Headquarters. Photographer Donald Yosua was perched in upstairs bunkroom window. (Photo taken by Donald Yosua, and courtesy of Clark Hurlburt)
41 Diamond-T H&L at the Hamden Bicentennial Fire Muster - June 1986
(CLICK on any photo to enlarge.)
The late Ken Lewis, who was a longtime member of Company 8 and an enthusiastic collector of old fire apparatus, purchased Hamden's 1941 Diamond-T ladder truck from the New Milford Fire Department, which bought it from Hamden in 1963.
In June 1986, Mr. Lewis generously allowed an HFD department member (your webmeister) to drive this iconic former Hamden fire truck to the Hamden Bicentennial Fire Muster. The muster was held on the grounds of Quinnipiac College, where the Quinnipiac University Law School stands today. Everything the old-timers had said about driving this ladder truck with the incredibly long wheelbase was true!