Ladder trucks for the Winnipeg Fire Brigade were among the first apparatus ordered: the first one arriving from Babcock Company of Chicago in 1875.  It was a simple, extra-long  horse drawn chassis, upon which ladders were hung or stacked.   Some later models had tiller steering on the rear wheels, making maneuvering corners quicker and easier.  Early models were referred to as “hook and ladders trucks” as they carried both ladders and various hooks for climbing up and pulling down buildings.  Beginning in the early 1900s, as buildings got taller, the WFD began purchasing “aerial ladder trucks” – vehicles with a large, heavy, mechanically raised ladder, permanently attached to the truck.  Aerial ladders have a significantly higher reach than portable ladders.  Ladder trucks without aerials became known as “city service ladder trucks”.

Make & Model


In Service


H & L Babcock Co. Chigago

Purchased 1875

Aerial Ladder Hayes

65 foot 
3 horse team

Purchased 19/02/1895

Cost $4,125.00 
Agent-W. S. Nott Co. 
Minneapolis, Minn. USA

H & L Truck

2 horse team

Purchased 06/10/1903

Cost $2,450.00

H & L Truck

2 horse team

Purchased 29/11/1904

Cost $2,385.00

Aerial Ladder 
Canadian Seagrave

85 foot 
3 horse team

Purchased 19/05/1905

Cost $5,140.00

Water Tower 

65 foot 
3 horse team

Purchased 01/06/1905

Cost $7,900.00

Water Tower Seagrave Ladder

H & L Truck

2 horse team

Purchased 29/11/1905

Cost $2,385.00

H & L Trucks Seagrave

3-2 horse teams

Purchased 21/12/1906

Cost $2,765.00

Seagrave Ladder

Aerial Ladder Pirsch

85 foot 
3 horse team

Purchased 19/10/1911

H & L Trucks Seagrave

2 – 2 horse teams

Purchased 13/03/1914

Cost $2,300.00 each

Some time between 1909 and 1914 the Department bought an 85 foot, 3 horse team, Seagrave Aerial that remained in active service until the late 1920s.

Motor Aerial Ladder 
M.A. L. #4 and then #1 
Serial #580

75 foot wood 
2 wheel drive

Purchased 18/06/1914

100 Horsepower – 6 cylinder – Gasoline 
Cost $14,175.00 
Agent-American LaFrance Fire Engine Co. 
Elmira, New York, USA 
Aerial ladder damaged at the Tees & Persse fire and was factory rebuilt in 1924, and in 1928 the ladders were transferred to M.A.L. #3.

Picture taken – Spring 1917 – in front of No.1 firehall – 110 Albert St. – Northwest corner of Bannatyne.
First motorized aerial ladder N0.4 – American LaFrance fire engine.

Motor Aerial Ladder 
M. A. L. #2 
Model Seagrave “K” 756 
Serial #27122

75 foot wood 
2 wheel drive

Purchased 1921

6 cylinders – gasoline – 30 Horsepower 
Cost $19,880.00 
Agent – Waterous Engine Works Co. Ltd. 
Higgins Ave. Wpg. Man.

Motor Aerial Ladder 
M. A. L. #3 American LaFrance 
Serial #4194

85 foot-wood 
2 wheel drive

Purchased 02/01/1923

6 cylinders – gasoline Horsepower 
Cost $38,7000.00 
The ladders were originally from ths spare Horse drawn Aerial at # 10 Station, and in November 1928 the ladders from M.A.L. #1 were transferred to M.A.L.#3.

3 Reo Speed Wagons

Purchased 11/04/1922

Were used as tractors for 3 of the Horse drawn H & L Trucks. # 1 – #2 – #3 
Reg. No.s 73048-73046-73040-69783

Reo Speed Wagon

Purchased 02/01/1923

4th H & L Truck Reg. No. one of above 
In 1928 H & L #2 Reg. 13040, #3 Reg. 73048 and #4 Reg. 73046 were in service.

American LaFrance 
City Service Ladder Truck

Purchased 26/10/1928

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