In March of 1932 photographs were taken of the apparatus and the firehouse.
In October 1929 the stock market had crashed, and many lost their life savings. By 1933 the value of stock on the New York Stock Exchange was less than a fifth of what it had been at its peak in 1929. Business houses closed their doors, factories shut down and banks failed. By 1932 approximately one out of every four Americans was unemployed.
Fire Companies were not immune from the effects of the depression. The President encouraged the membership to stress economy in their actions as the debt level of the Company “is very heavy”.
In 1932 ten boroughs joined together in an effort to get reduced insurance rates for Fire Apparatus. Borough Council agreed to pay ½ of the insurance premium for insurance protection of apparatus drivers.
In recognition of his past services to the Company, Philip A. Royle was named a Past Captain of the Company although he never actually held that rank. It was due to his past services to the Company that he became physically unable to assume the duties of Captain.
Captain Timlin procured a new bell for the Pumper.
In January 1933, a life net was purchased. The life net was made part of the equipment carried on the City Service Truck and was kept in service until sometime around 1960 when George Seifert jumped onto it from the roof of the old Harris School during a crew night. The
life net broke and almost took off one of Bob Seifert’s fingers. It was then that the net was retired from service.
A motion was made to hold the first Memorial Service to honor our members and the members of the Auxiliary who had passed away during the previous year. Reverend Marion G. Richard of the Lutheran Church conducted the service. This Memorial has remained as a tradition with the Company through the years.
Jimmy Taylor and Ed Robb were named to the Membership Committee. The Company sent a gift to the Ladies Auxiliary on the occasion of their 25th Anniversary.
MacDade Blvd. was dedicated on September 9, 1933.
A traffic light was installed in front of the firehouse.
This was the year of the bank failures and much effort was applied to saving the money of the Company and the Relief Assoc. which was deposited in the First National Bank in Darby. A communication dated February 20, 1933 was received from the First National Bank of Darby, Pa. in reference to the bank being unable to meet the demand for withdrawal of funds by its depositors. It was moved and approved that members who were in arrears with their dues as a result of unemployment and the banking problem would be excused from payment of dues.
It was noted in the minutes that fire companies were not permitted to obtain a license to sell liquor and that it would be necessary to form a Social Club to provide such a service. The House Committee was given the authority to form a Social Club to be made up of members of the Company only. The Club was formed and a yearly lease was drawn up at $1.00 per month between the Fire Company and the Firemen’s Social Club.
MacDade Boulevard (formerly Parker Ave.) was dedicated on September 9, 1933
The Office of City Service Truck Lieutenant was changed to City Service Truck Foreman and the new office of “Day Engineer was created.
The annual baseball game between Collingdale #1 and the Philadelphia Fire Department was
scheduled for September 9.
The funding of the Relief Assoc. was increased by the passage of a bill which awarded the 2% premiums from towns lacking a fire company to be given to the Relief Assoc. of the Company providing fire protection to that town. In 1934 the Relief Assoc. Treasurer was instructed to open an account with the Gimbel Brother’s Bank and Trust Co.
For the year 1934, Joseph Clifton was elected President, Ed Robb First Lieutenant, Jim Taylor First Asst. Engineer and Elmer Ritchie Second Engineer.
150 Christmas baskets were distributed to needy families in the Borough. A Committee was formed to assist Bud Eberhart in the purchase of an artificial foot.
Provisions were made to have the Auxiliary members covered under the Relief Assoc. insurance policy.
In April of 1935 a special meeting was called to entertain the possibility of starting an Ambulance Service. A motion was approved to investigate the matter. Mr. Rowland was appointed chairman of the committee. At a special meeting, held on April 18th, it was moved to approve the purchase of an ambulance from the U. G. I. Co. (Phila. Gas Co.) for the sum of $25.00. Joseph Marshall and Jim Carpenter were instrumental in obtaining the vehicle.
The Auxiliary donated sheets, pillow cases and blankets for the ambulance. A Sterling Siren was purchased for the ambulance for the price of $28.50.
In May, the first ambulance call was to transport the husband of Mrs. Marion H. Magnin of 116 Chester Pike to Hahneman Hospital. In the fall of 1935 the Ambulance was traded for a newer type for a consideration of $500.00.
In July, rules were adopted for the organization and operation of the ambulance. The service was placed under the direction of the Trustees. Ed Robb was appointed to be the first Ambulance Supervisor. A committee was formed to try to procure a charter for the Firemen’s Social Club and to find out from the Attorney General if the Club would in fact have any legal standing.
The Trustees were directed to have a plate made in memory of James S. Carpenter and to have the plate mounted on the front of the firehouse. Jim was President of the Company in 1913 when first firehouse was built. He remained an active member for many years.
The Auditing Committee reported that the worth of the Company was $50,663.38 which included the building, apparatus and all other property.
A donation of $1000.00 was received from the Ladies Auxiliary to help pay down the mortgage. The Company moved to thank the Ladies and to present them with a new gavel which was to be made by Arthur Gandy.A letter of thanks was received from Bud Eberhardt for the Company’s assistance in acquitting an artificial foot.
On April 23rd, 1926, contract was signed for an addition to the front of the firehouse to provide for larger apparatus room and better quarters for the caretaker. The construction contract was signed by George H. Baumert, James S. Carpenter, John Balkenhol, George E. Renwick and Clarence C. Bache. The addition included a hose tower that was high enough to permit hanging a straight fifty foot long length of hose for drying. Hose drying was critical in those years because the hose was constructed with a cotton outer jacket which was susceptible to mildew which caused the jacket to rot and the hose to fail prematurely.
To finance the addition, $16,000.00 was borrowed from the 1st National Bank of Darby. On March 12th, 1936, Mr. A. M. Fetter, 827 Andrews Ave. generously agreed to pay off the remaining $6000.00 of the loan (These were depression days). The fire company paid Mr. Fetter off in small payments during the next three years.
1927 was another busy year for the Company. Charley Mollenkopf was Captain and Leon Wright was the Financial Secretary. The fire bell was hoisted to the new hose tower with an assist from a crew from the Delaware County Electric Company that did the job during their lunch break. The changes continued when it was approved to change the color of the apparatus from white to battleship gray. The Philadelphia Fire Dept. loaned the Company a piece of apparatus to use while the trucks were being painted.
In June of 1927, the Company formed a band/orchestra which performed at fire company functions.
The Ladies Auxiliary “instructed” the Captain to purchase 12 rubber coats and one “first Class Stretcher” and to bill them for the items.
The old hand drawn hose cart was used to advertise the carnival. The cart was modified to accommodate being pulled by a horse.
Also, during 1927, an open house was held for the new addition.
Jimmy Taylor joined the Company in November 1927.
An insurance policy was obtained that would cover the driver of the apparatus in the event of injury to another party.
As a fund raiser, the Company, along with Darby #1 and #2, sold tickets for a film entitled “The Fire Brigade” which was shown at the Darby Theater. Each Company realized a profit of $46.66.
In January 1928, the Company voted to purchase a City Service Truck from the Hahn Motor Truck Corp. for a bid price of $4,775.00. Samuel Jackson was chairman of this committee and named the apparatus Truck "A".
At this time the Company had three pieces of apparatus.
The housing for the apparatus was held on April 28th with Darby #1, #2 and the 5th District Officers invited to attend. Darby Fire Patrol #2 officiated at the housing as they were a Truck Co. The Truck was not actually accepted until November due to a problem obtaining the proper ladders from the manufacturer.
The “Band Committee” was changed to an “Orchestra Committee”. The Orchestra performed at the Company Banquet.
A Glee Club was formed in December.
A motion was approved that in the event of the death of a member the U.S. flag is to be flown at half staff from the time of notice of the death until the time of the funeral.
Mr. Joseph F. Beswick, the Company’s first President, passed away in June of 1928.
The Company Banquet was held on October 6, 1928. Tickets for the affair were $2.00 and music was provided by the Company’s own orchestra.
On October 15, 1928 the fire company played a large part in removing the World War I monument from the church grounds at the cornel' of Clifton and MacDade Blvd. to the school grounds where it remained until it was relocated to the Collingdale Park area many years later.
In November 1929 the lot on Bedford Ave. behind the firehouse was purchased for the sum of $1500.
The Company received an invitation from Collingdale #2 to attend the Flag Raising and dedication of their new building to be held on November 23, 1929.
In April 1930 the Company, upon the recommendation of the siren committee, chaired by Sam Jackson, placed an order for a new double ended Code Siren from Sterling Siren Fire Alarm Co. at a cost of $748.00. The siren was placed in operation in October. The siren used code wheels to notify members of the location of fires in the borough. A collection was made on Saturday afternoon after the siren was put in operation and the contributions of the people of Collingdale exceeded the cost of the siren. At the recommendation of the engineers from Sterling Siren the siren was mounted on the peak of the roof of the firehouse, however, it later became necessary to relocate the siren to the top of the hose tower due to the effect that the vibration caused by its the operation was having on the roof structure.
A major benefit for the volunteer fire companies occurred in 1930 as a result of a new Pennsylvania State Law requiring Fire Companies to establish a relief association as a prerequisite for receiving funds for the benefit of firemen injured in the performance of their duties. Fire Companies #1 and #2 formed the “Volunteer Firemen’s Relief Association of the Borough of Collingdale, Delaware County, Pennsylvania” The Association’s first meeting was held on June 19, 1930. Messrs. Mollenkopf, Balkenhol, Heckman, and Walter Pharo were appointed to meet with Collingdale No. 2 to form a Relief Association.
The Law required that 2% of all premiums paid to all foreign insurance companies be paid to the State of Pennsylvania which, in turn, paid said funds to the municipality where the insurance was written. These funds were to be returned to the State unless the Fire Companies in the municipality had a regularly organized Relief Association in which case the funds were to be turned over to the Relief Association.
In October 1930, Elmer Ritchie applied for membership. Elmer was elected to membership in November.
1931 Marked the 25th Anniversary of the Company. Elmer Algard was elected President, and George Timlin, Captain. The Treasurer’s Report for January 1931 shows a balance of $324.90 with $120.27 in bills. In addition there was the sum of $1052.00 in the sinking fund. The membership had grown to about 350 but the complaint that “only 20 men do all the work” was recorded in the minutes.
The Collingdale Volunteer Firemen’s Relief Association named Samuel A. Jackson of Collingdale #1 and the Borough Chief for the year 1931 as the first President of the Association. Samuel Heckman and George J. Timlin were appointed to be the first directors of the Association from Collingdale #1 along with Emil Genaehr and Robert Donaldson from #2. The first recorded Beneficiary of the Relief Assoc. was Ralph Nuttle of Co. #1, who received an injury to his eye while fighting a fire on January 18,
The Ways and Means Committee spent $162.00 for angle iron to make carnival stands which “should last a lifetime”. The Ladies Auxiliary and the House Committee each contributed $60.00 toward the cost of the stands.
The carnival cleared $1250.00 that year. The angle iron stands did, in fact, last until the carnival activity was ended in 1990 at which time the stands were given to another fire company in the area.
The official uniform of the Company was defined as blue chambray shirt, black tie and shoes with regulation blue suit.
The minutes noted that Mr. J. R. Evans of 1009 Clifton Ave loaned his coat to Ed Robb who was operating the pump truck at a fire on North Street when the suction line came off of the truck and Ed was soaked. Mr. Evans witnessed the incident, and since it was a cold morning, he insisted that Ed take his coat since “he could go home but Ed could not”.
Notice was received from the Salvation Army that they would provide coffee at any hour at a fire if they were to be called.
In December the final payment was made on the Hahn City Service Truck.
As noted previously, the Company published a “Bulletin “to keep the residents aware of the activities of the company and to report news of the Borough. Below are excerpts from the “Bulletin” that were included in the banquet book from the fiftieth anniversary of the Company. It is believed that the article was prepared by Leon Wright.
The following article and the poem were recorded in our "Bulletin" and Year Book for our 25th Anniversary:
The 1931 issue has a picture of the firehouse showing the $26,000 addition that was completed in 1926. This issue contained an article telling about the formation of the Volunteer Firemen's Relief Association to insure firemen in case of injury or death while fighting a fire or answering a call of any emergency. Did you know that the light bill for 1931 was $97.20? It is more than that now just for one month. Did you know Russ Lytle was foreman of the ladder truck in 1931; Geo. Timlin was Captain and Sam Jackson Borough Chief. The August 1931 issue has a picture of the American La France Pumper and Chemical Engine. The January 1932 issue has a picture of the first sixty uniformed men of the fire company. James Guilfoy was president. Life net was purchased. Chief Eng. Edwin Robb started first aid classes with Edw. Freeman the instructor. The House Committee reported a profit of $631.44. George H. Baumert is the only living member of the Board of Trustees for that year. On June 16, 1932, Justine V. Algard, Samuel C. Hoffner, Jr., and Harry E. Lochman graduated from the Collingdale Jr. High School. Did you' know that Russ Lytle won an automobile when he was chairman of that committee in 1932? Thomas Post, 1112 Broad Street, was elected an active member. In Dec., 1932 the Keystone Fire Chiefs held their convention in Norristown. Seven members attended and the lone survivor now is Charles Mollenkopf. The article states the other members of this delegation had a hard time convincing the officials at the Norristown State Hospital that Charlie was really a fireman. _We understand Charlie was telling the officials wild stories about fire fighting when he was chief. He was almost taken for an inmate. On December 6th, 1932, Leon Wright was elected President... In January 1933 the First Memorial Service was held for deceased members. Edw.
Freeman was Borough Chief. Did you know that in September 1933 Parker Ave. was changed to MacDade Blvd. in honor of, Judge MacDade of the Delaware County Courts? Did you know Arthur Wilson, Sr. served four straight years as Chief of our Fire Company previous to 1920? We expect
to see" Art" at our 50th Anniversary banquet. He is the oldest living fire chief in Collingdale. In 1934 our company was known as the N. R. A. fire
fighters-Article "Quick service at all hours is our motto and we have had an N R A slogan long before the New Deal was put through, and that is (N) Never (R) Refused (A) Assistance."
Edwin A. Robb, who should be with us tonight, was elected Captain in 1936. Remember "The Hick," a show put on for the fire company by Bill Nolan in 1936. Parts of which were played by James Guilfoy, Eva Leutner and Joe Huddy. Joe sang "I'm Alone Because I Love You." He was about ten or twelve years old in those days. Joe is married now and has children almost as old as he was in those days. Did you know that Tom Heffernan served on the Board of Trustees in 1936 along with Russ Lytle, Jim Guilfoy and George Baumert?
Applications for membership recorded in the Bulletin of March 1936 -James Royland 3-6-34, F. E. Stengle 3-5-35, Andy Munley 4-2-35 and Al MacFarland 3-3-36. Did you know Min Post was President of the Auxiliary in 1936 and Jos. Huddy was a popular Radio Star the same year, and that Eve Leutner was called the nightingale of the Auxiliary? Did you know that Chas. Mollenkopf was Captain of the Fire Company in 1926? Did you know there is a motion on our books that Firemen serving as active members for 20 years should be made Life Members and exempt from dues.
The following is a list of members who have been on the roll for 20 years or more. Some have been made Life Members and others should be-EImer Algard, 21 years; Emil Alveberg, 30 years, George H. Baumert, 36 years; Edwin A. Bustard, 20 years; Harry G. Cornfeld, 25 years; Dr. Herman Douglass, 25 years; Abe Elitzky, 25 years; Edw. D. Freeman, 36 years;James P. Guilfoy, 20 years; Geo. W. Hamme, 20 years; Thomas K. Heffernan, 30 years; John F. Henry, 25 years; Dr. Fred 'Hunlock, 30 years; Robert Johnston, 5 years honorary and 20 years active; Joseph MacDougal, 907 Mac Dade Blvd., 30 years; Alfred MacFarland, 21 years; Edmund B. Mink, Jr., 29 years; Charles Mollenkopf, 38 years; Anthony Munley, 22 years; Wilford L. Ottey, Jr., 22 years; Edgar Pharo, 51 years; Thomas Post, 25 years; Elmer Ritchie, 25 years; Edwin A. Robb, 25 years; James M. Rowland, 21 years; Bert Russell, 21 years; Chas. w.. Schuh, 23years-I913 to 1921 and 1942 to
1957; Harold M. Smith, 35 years; F. E. Stengle, 21 years; Herman J . Vogel, 35 years; Arthur Wilson, Sr., 48 years; Edward Wissman, 25 years; Howard N. Wolfenden, 25 years; Leon Wright, 34 years; Gustave A. Wunderlich, 32 years; Russ Lytle, 29 years.
Number One Is Twenty-Five
By Charles Loeble
The Company's birthday-Twenty five
Should make us proud to be alive,
Smile and be happy, keeping this date,
Look at all we've done since Nineteen Eight.
We own a house, don't borrow a barn,
To keep our engines safe from harm,
There's a pumper, a ladder truck, too,
Even a life-net, from last year's crew.
The chemical's sure real job-and,
Don't let's forget the one pulled by hand.
Who remembers the second-hand Ford?
When it ran, we shouted, "Thank the Lord."
We laugh about the old engine tire.
But it called us to many a fire;
Next, was a bell, in the old belfry,
Now we have sirens that are blamed noisy.
That we are good-sure we ought to know,
Because the three Judges told us so,
When we paraded, on concrete hard
Dedicating MacDade Boulevard.
These things we've done, its right to be proud.
Throw out your chests, laugh and sing aloud.
Be happy, light-hearted, full of glee,
On this Silver Anniversary.
Now, down the line, for a little fun,
Naming some boys of old Number One;
If your name is not in any line,
You'll know the reason, it does not rhyme.
A trifle slim and very good height,
Our President, who is Leon Wright.
He is not so tall and not so gay
Is our Vice President, Brother Ray.
Leon and Walter, they keep the books,
But they both know how to use the hooks.
The Borough Chief is a funny type,
Phew Ed's always smoking his rank pipe.
Cap Fred and Lieutenant Griffen boss,
They are getting old, but are never cross.
Our Engineers are known, all three,
There's Jackson with Quirk and Taylor, see.
Real Fire Police, not a cipher,
With a Captain like Charley Phifer.
And there's Russ and Andy, two old drones,
Never know when to go to their homes.
To the Ladies, whom he holds most high,
"Friends join our ranks," is their battle-cry.
To men and women, who live around here,
Say, "Join, during this Jubilee Year."
Years have gone, but there are years to come.
There is work for all, not only some,
Because there's work that has just begun.
Young and old should stand by Number One.
We've done many jobs, we'll do some more,
Let's all work hard, to the lowest chore,
But tonight, celebrate, be alive
Because, NUMBRE ONE IS TWENTY -FIVE.