First Kensington VFD Fire Truck Purchased from Reed Brothers Dodge
The first piece of fire apparatus purchased by the Kensington (Maryland) Volunteer Fire Department was a 1925 Dodge-Graham fire engine purchased from Reed Brothers Dodge at a cost of $5,000. It was not a complete truck when purchased, however.
From the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department’s “History” webpage:
1922 was the birth of the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department. With little money, a Dodge truck was purchased from Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville. A custom fire body was then built and fitted on the truck by Jacobs Brothers in Gaithersburg who ran the Wheelwright Shop on East Diamond Avenue. To raise money, the volunteers held carnivals. The Fire Department incorporated in 1925, and two years later moved into a permanent home in the basement of the National Guard Armory.
A bit of Dodge-Graham Brothers history: Dodge trucks actually began with three brothers named Graham. In reality, it is the story of two companies – the Dodge Brothers Company and the Graham Brothers Company. In 1916, seeing the need for a good, dependable truck to serve people, the Graham brothers entered the truck body business. By 1919, they had produced the “Truck-builder,” which is a basic platform from which a customer could spec a truck according to his or her needs. The Truck Builder was essentially a truck conversion that began with a passenger car.
In 1921, Dodge Brothers began to market Graham Brothers medium-duty trucks through its dealerships; in turn, every Graham vehicle utilized a Dodge engine. This partnership provided Dodge dealers with a full line of trucks to sell in addition to the highly regarded Dodge passenger cars, and the resulting sales increases prompted Dodge to buy the Graham Brothers Company.
The Dodge trucks would carry the Graham Brothers nameplate until 1928 with a few of the designs lasting as long as the 1930s.
Pictured below is not the Kensington engine, but a fully restored 1925 Dodge-Graham Brothers Era Chemical Pumper that was probably very similar to the original one that was used.