AERIAL HOOK AND LADDER TRUCK.
Great as was the improvement of the old-fashioned hook and ladder truck over the primitive fire ladders of a past age, the latest aerial hook and ladder truck, especially of the Dederick class, marks a still higher stage in the development of modern fire apparatus. The ladder can be fully extended in fifteen seconds and requires only four men to raise It. These stand upon a platform of a turntable, and in thiB way their position is unaffected by the turning of the ladder, while their weight acts ns a counterbalance. The props bearing upon the sides of the ladder as it ascends support its weight both while moving upwards and when at rest, thus obviating strain upon any part. The operators can begin to elevate the ladders before the truck stops, and thus be ready for any emergency in the shortest possible space of time. The truck can also be easily worked in the narrowest streets. The cranks are so arranged as to afford ample room and comfort to those who work them, and are attached and ready for use at all times. The cable and windlass construction employed not only facilitates the rapid raising and lowering of the ladders, but also makes it possible to build the apparatus stronger and lighter than would be practicable with any form or style of screws. The extraordinary rapidity at which the ladder may be raised and lowered is due in part to the new self-compensating spool windlass. The turntable is revolved by means of a hand lever, which also acts as a counterbalance for the ladder. The position of the operators affords them an unobstructed view of the work to be done. All parts of the operating mechanism are independent. The main ladder is lowered and controled by means of a friction brake. This truck is made in nine sixes,with aerial ladder extending from fortyfive to quite eighty-five feet. The frame is of the best grade channel steel; the wheels are Warner, Sarven,or Archibald make; the springs are of the best oil-tempered Swede steel; the running gear is of wrought iron. This truck also carries, in addition to the aerial ladder, one portable extension ladder and six assorted single ladders. The tools and equipment consist of six assorted pole hooks – one chain hook, with rope, chain, and pole; two crotch poles; four fire axes; four rubber fire buckets; six brass haud lanterns; two wall picks; one door opener; one wire cutter; two extinguishers and charges; two pitchforks; two shovels; 175 feet of Manila rope, with tackle and snatchblock for hoisting hose, etc ; two crowbars; one tin-roof cutter; rope reel, rope and hand tongue, with forty-five foot and fifty-foot trucks in addition to the horse pole; twohorse poles, with all larger sizes, or three-horse hitch, when desired, with seventy-foot, seventy-flve-foot, eighty foot, and eighty-five-foot trucks; side foot boards; wire basket under the frame; tool rack at the rear of the basket; tool box, with all necessary wrenches. Trucks of sixty feet to eighty-five feet inclusive are provided with steering gear, aud all sizes are fitted with powerful brakes. The Dederick patent life car will be applied to any truck when specially ordered, at slight additional cost. The illustration accompanying this article is from the catalogue of the International Fire Engine company—Gleason and Hailey and Humsey branch —and shows an aerial exhibition with one of the company’s aerial trucks.