Preserving History & Tradition

5218 South Western Avenue - Chicago, Illinois

Currently the Museum is only open on the 4th Saturday of each month, excluding December. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming open houses.

Currently the Museum is only open on the 4th Saturday of each month, excluding December. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming open houses.

Firemen's Fund 1913 - Model "T" Exhibit


     It has been an exciting and very fast paced time recently for the Fire Museum as we responded to a call from Fireman's Fund Insurance Company located here in Chicago.

     Several weeks ago the Museum received a call from the Fireman's Fund Insurance regarding an antique fire engine that they possessed and were now looking to donate to a fire museum. Fireman's Fund Insurance had been purchased by Allianz and no longer would be able to house their antique fire engine in their current space. That space was the twelfth floor of the office building at 33 W. Monroe in Chicago where the fire engine sat on display in the upper floor lobby for the past twelve years! The fire engine turns out to be a fully restored 1913 Ford Model 'T' chemical rig.

     Time was of the essence to find a new home for the fire engine. After a quick consensus of the directors and a commitment by key members of the Museum we decided to accept the offer from Fireman's Fund Insurance and make arrangements to receive the fire engine. The arrangements were to quickly; draft, sign, seal and deliver transfer documents, provide many certificates of insurances for both parties and 33 Monroe building management, schedule public 'hand over' event with FMGC and FFI, relocate existing apparatus on the floor of the Museum, assemble disassemble team, disassemble entire fire engine down to its frame, have all parts and components photographed, catalogued, wrapped, transported and reassemble rig on the apparatus floor of the Museum!

     The paperwork took three weeks to complete. The 'hand over' event took place at FFI's office on Wednesday, September 9th as Walter Grote, Midwest Zone Leader officially handed over the rig to the Museum.

     On Friday September 11th, a team of twelve consisting of directors, members and volunteers met on the twelfth floor of 33 W. Monroe and began disassembling the rig. The rig was completely apart and ready for transport by 9 pm! FFI had arranged for wrapping and transport to the Museum where it arrived Tuesday Morning, September 15th. By 5 pm Tuesday the rig had been re-assembled and now sits next to Squad 10 on the apparatus floor. Phew! What a great example of our team working together and accomplishing so much so quickly and efficiently. You can be very proud of the Museum team that made this happen.

     Although this piece of apparatus has no history with the Chicagoland area, it is a great example of the very early motorized chemical rigs that Chicago and suburbs used at the time.

     Please come in and see the new donation to the Fire Museum and appreciate a wonderful piece of apparatus and a tremendous effort and accomplishment by the Museum.

     The Fire Museum of Greater Chicago would like to thank Fireman's Fund Insurance and especially Walter Grote, Kristin Nelder and Colleen Walraven.

     The Fire Museum would like to thank all the team members that participated: Al Cousineau, Jack Connors, Tim Connors, Jack Hadfield, Ron Dascher, Frank McMenamin, Fr. John McNalis, Phil Little, Jean Scaperdine, Jim McCall, Jason Bauman, Don Mathews, Don Peter, Zach Sorenson, Tom Allen, Al Cousineau Sr., Pat Trunda, Andy O'Donnell.