Old Fire Engine


In October 1947, the city of New York donated the fire engine on display to the Tel Aviv Volunteer Fire Brigade.  Manufactured by the American LaFrance Fire Engine Co. in Elmira, New York, in 1925, it was first used at Fire Station No. 92 in the Bronx.

In a ceremony outside City Hall, in the presence of Moshe Shertok, the head of the Jewish Agency's Political Department (and later, Moshe Sharett, the second prime minister of Israel), the fire engine was presented to the city. The event attracted widespread media coverage in New York, both in the general and the Jewish press, though back in Palestine, it did not make it to the national dailies or even Tel Aviv Municipality's house paper, presumably bumped by the tense security situation at the time.


The fire engine arrived at the Tel Aviv Port on August 6, 1948, and was transferred to the new fire station on Basel Street, where it remained in service until 1960. Tel Aviv Municipality's Technical commission authorized its retirement in August 1961, after which it went on display at the Science and Technical Museum, which was established on the site of the former Ha'aretz Museum, as part of the "Energy and Transportation" exhibit.

The fire engine was returned to the Basel Street station in the 1980s and from there it moved to the Ayalon Highways Company. In early 2000, the remaines of the fire engine was located at another of the company's sites. After obtaining the engine's original designs and purchasing, through donations, 100 original parts from collectors across the United States, work began through donations on restoring the fire engine to its former glory.  Nearly one year later its restoration complete, it was placed at the entrance of the Eretz Israel Museum.


The Ted Arison Family Foundation, the Tel Aviv Foundation, the Tel Aviv Development Company, the Ayalon Highway Company, and Pinhassi Cranes contributed to this exhibit.