Seagrave Fire Apparatus

Seagrave and Co. was founded in 1881 in Detroit, Michigan, by Frederic Seagrave. The company originally built ladders for the orchard industry when local firefighters asked for apparatus that could transport their fire ladders safely. Seagrave produced horse-drawn carts designed to carry ladders and further developed hose wagons. In 1891, the Seagrave Corp. was formed.

In 1963, Seagrave was acquired by the FWD Corp., and corporate headquarters were relocated to Clintonville, Wisconsin. Today, the Seagrave group is a flagship company of ELB Capital Management. Seagrave operates two plants—one in Clintonville and the other in Rock Hill, South Carolina—and also supplies the federal government with firefighting equipment. In addition, Seagrave refurbishes its older fire pumpers and brings them up-to-date to meet current National Fire Protection Assoc. requirements.

Seagrave is currently the longest-running manufacturer of fire pumpers, rescue units, and aerial apparatus. One of the country’s largest fire departments, Fire Dept. of New York (FDNY), uses the Seagrave apparatus line almost exclusively. Seagrave remains a mainstay of many fire departments throughout the country.

Here are some videos showing the legendary Seagrave products in action.

1927 Seagrave

1936 Bickle Seagrave

1957 Seagrave Pumper

2014 FDNY Seagrave

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Mark C. Dalton

Mark C. Dalton has been a career firefighter for the past 12 years with Deltona Fire Rescue in central Florida, where he resides. He entered the fire service in 1984, when he was a reserve firefighter with Broward County Fire Rescue in south Florida as well as working on an ambulance as an EMT for five years. He remembers visiting Fort Lauderdale Fire Dept.’s Station 35 as a child and knew at that moment he would ride the big red truck, making the fire service a passion and career. Dalton is also a contributor to our sister magazine Antique Power, so look for his unique photos and stories.