Gueston February 18, 2008
Bill: Both Truck Co. 55 and Truck Co. 56 operated with Seagrave "one-piece" (city service) trucks well into 1959, and they were the last truck companies to have "one-piece" trucks (no aerial ladder) as their primary assigned rigs (Truck Co. 55 until May 1959, and Truck Co. 56 until December 1959). Since the license plate is from 1959, it could have been either one.
Truck Co. 56 was also the last truck company to be assigned a primary rig without aerial-ladder capabilities. Up until December 1966, Truck 56 was a TDA where the wooden aerial-ladder was disabled (bolted & permanently secured in the "down" position). Other truck companies might have occasionally operated temporarily with a spare rig where the aerial-ladder didn't work (like the ill-fated Truck Co. 18 at the Mickelberry Sausage Company fire), but Truck 56 was the last company to operate for a prolonged period of time without a working aerial-ladder.
And Truck Co. 54 (at Midway Airport) was the last truck company to operate with a tractor-drawn "straight-frame" trailer (no aerial ladder at all), but it was assigned a TDA (presumably one that worked!) in August 1966.
Bill Poston August 4, 2006
One of two Seagrave straight frame service Ladder (non aerial)delivered in 1928 and 1929 both saw service into the 1950's one at Truck 55 until 1956 and the last one at Truck 56 until 1959.Unknown which company is in the photo (probably Truck 56).