This Combination Fire Engine was built by the Childs-Foamite Company on a 1925 REO Speedwagon chassis. Ransom Eli-Olds started manufacturing gasoline automobiles in 1895. His company acquired several partners over the years and became the Oldsmobile Motor Car Company.
In 1904, Ransom E. Olds left the Oldsmobile Motor Car Company because of differences with his partners over the size of the automobiles that they produced. Mr. Olds wish to continue production of a smaller car.
In October of 1904, Ransom Olds produced his first car using his initials REO. he could not use the name Oldsmobile because it was property of his former company.
REO started production of trucks in 1909, and became well known for their durability. The REO Speedwagon set the standard for power and durability. Ransom Olds retired from the company in 1923, and died in 1950. White Truck bought out the company in 1957 and the trucks were renamed to Diamond REO. The REO nameplate was retired in 1974.
A Combination Fire Engine means it has two ways for pressurizing water. The large brass tank mounted behind the seat is a chemical tank, which contained 44 gallons of soda water solution. When the fire fighters would arrive at the fires they would turn the handle on top of the tank and break a seal on a jar of acid that would mix with the soda water. This would start a chemical reaction and pressurize the water in the tank for fire fighting.
Located under the seat is a Rotary Gear pump that once a water supply is established can pressurize water for fire fighting. This pump can pump 300 gallons of water per minute.
This fire truck remained in service for over 25 years and was retired in the mid 1950's. It was featured in the national publication 'Engine Engine.' It is an award winner in regional shows.