History
1916-1925

The Company continued to prosper and to play an important roll in the formation of the community. 

The activities of the members in these early years were not without hazard however.  In December of 1916, Samuel Langley contracted pneumonia and died as a result of being drenched by water while fighting a fire. Sam was the first member to die in the service of the Company.  He passed away on December 2nd of 1916.

By 1917, the Fire Company building was used for rentals meetings of other organizations and the various functions of the Borough.

1917 saw the purchase of a “Peerless” automobile from the Girard Auto Co.  Apparatus at that time apparently consisted of the chemical engine and the automobile which was used to pull the chemical apparatus. Joint drills were held with Collingdale #2 during 1917.

To provide the members with some recreation while at the firehouse waiting for something to happen a new pool table was purchased for the member’s area.

The beginning of the involvement of the United States in World War I in April of 1917 saw several of the members answer the “Call to Arms”.  A Service flag was presented by J. Elmer Sellers to honor those members serving in the Armed Forces. 

In 1918 a motion was approved to turn the apparatus over to the Chief and that the “chauffeurs” who were designated to operate the motorized apparatus were placed under the direction of the Chief. Up to this time the apparatus and the chauffeurs were under the direction of the Board of Trustees.

A major catastrophe struck the United States in 1918. An influenza pandemic resulted in the death of millions of people worldwide and of over 850,000 people in the United States. Over 12,000 people or 158 out of every 1000 people perished in the Philadelphia area that year due to the flu.  This was the largest percentage of deaths in any city in the United States resulting from the epidemic. A letter was sent to Collingdale #2 in sympathy for the men they lost in the influenza epidemic of that year. Isaac Diehl who was serving as Captain of the Company in 1918 received a vote of thanks from the Company for his service to the Borough during the epidemic.

Following the armistice ending WWI in 1918 the company membership grew rapidly. Sixty-four (64) new members joined in May of 1919, and fifty (50) joined in June 1919.  Meeting nights for the Company were changed several times during the early years and it was an obligation for the members to attend the meetings and drills which were held from time to time. 

In February 1919 discussions were had regarding the state of the apparatus and whether to motorize the Chemical Apparatus or to purchase a new truck.  A motion was approved to purchase a new truck.   The first motorized equipment was a Model T Ford truck, purchased from the Wilson Martin Meat Packing Company, on which the two chemical tanks from the original apparatus were mounted. A Peerless chain-driven touring car was also obtained and converted to a hose truck. 

The idea of a Firemen’s Relief Association was brought up by Mr. R. Degen.  Mssrs. Degen, Hauser, and Carpenter were appointed as a Committee to investigate the idea.  This concept finally became a reality in 1931.

In March 1919, $490.00 was drawn from the treasury to pay the Armour Co. for the Model “T” truck/Chemical Wagon.  In April, a motion was approved to dispose of the “large car” which had been used to pull the old chemical wagon, if a suitable offer could be obtained.

June 30th 1921 was marked by the tragic death of William Gorgas, and injury to several other members when the Peerless hose truck on which they were riding failed to negotiate the turn at 9th and Main Street in Darby and overturned.   The apparatus was responding to a fire at the Wolford Tank Works in Colwyn. 



In August, 1923, plans were made for a banquet to celebrate the burning of the mortgage.  It was also decided to investigate enlarging the building by putting an addition on the front of the firehouse.

During the school year the Firehouse hall was rented to the school district for use as a gymnasium.

As sort of a harbinger of things to come the Company received an offer of a second hand automobile if it would be used as an ambulance.  The Company decided that it could not start an ambulance service at the “present time”.

In December 1923, the Company voted to purchase a Brockway Torpedo Double Tank Chemical Engine at a cost of $4000.00 from the American La France Fire Apparatus Co. The company then pur­chased two new modern fire engines, one American La France 650 gallon pumper and one Brockway chemical truck, at a cost of $9500, making the company the best equipped in Delaware County.

A motion was approved to sell the old Chemical engine for $500.00 Broomall and Okeola (Darby Township) fire companies expressed interest in purchasing the engine.  The truck was eventually sold—most probably to Okeola. (Not to Broomall)

Folcroft Fire Co. requested a copy of the Company Bylaws as they were revising theirs and wanted to “be guided by a successful Company”.  A letter was sent to Burgess Joseph B Glover suggesting that the organizations of the Borough be contacted about having a celebration for the 30th Anniversary of Collingdale. The Company petitioned the State Legislature to have Parker Ave. (MacDade Blvd.) made into a State Highway.

In 1924 the company started to issue the "Month­ly Bulletin" which was distributed to every house in Collingdale and Aldan.  The “Bulletin” was discontinued in 1936. The first issue showed a pic­ture of the Old Peerless Engine which was bought prior to 1920. In this issue is an article where the Ladies Auxiliary celebrated their 16th Anniversary and the .firemen were invited. Charlie Loe­ble was toastmaster. Andy Patton pre­sented a gift of six aluminum trays to the ladies. A new hose rack was built for drying hose in the apparatus room. Also the first siren was purchased and one member cut off part of his finger while it was being installed.