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Vance Fire Department bought this truck from Pringeltown Fire Department in 1997


Howe Fire Apparatus Co. Celebrates 100th Birthday


The Howe Fire Apparatus Company Inc. celebrated its 100th anniversary of the founding of the company, at the international association of Fire Chiefs conventions in Cleveland recently.

The Howe Company displayed an antique horse drawn unit built 100 years ago and also a new truck with all modern equipment before some 4500 fire chiefs and there wives at the convention.

During the week of the convention the Howe Company held a general sales meeting in Cleveland for sales representatives for the parent company and its two subsidiaries.

The founder of the family company was B.J.C. Howe, when in 1872 he adapted a piston pump for fire department use. During its early years the Howe Fire Apparatus Company was located in Indianapolis and was known as the Howe Pump and Engine Company. As the company expanded, the founder's three sons came into active management and directed the companies growth from 1893 to 1939.

Because of the increasing demands for motorized fire equipment, the Howe brothers decided to move from Indianapolis to Anderson in 1917. In the 1920s, the sons of the second generation L.M. Howe came into the management of the plant, with Ben S. Howe as president and L.G. Howe as Vice-president.

Mr. and Mrs. Ben S. Howe now live in their retirement home in Roanoke, VA., near the Oren Roanoke Corporation plant. Richard S. Howe of Anderson in the fourth generation in the business and is acting as President and General Manager of the parent company.

L.G. Howe's daughter, Maryanna, and her husband, Delbert R. Spangler, live outside of Roanoke, in the town of Vinton.

Spangler acts as Vice president of the Howe Fire Apparatus Company, Inc. and is manager of the Oren Roanoke Corporation Plant in Vinton, VA.

Another Article

Howe Apparatus to close doors DEC 15 1978

About 60 employees of Howe Fire Apparatus will lose their jobs DEC 15 when the 81-year old Anderson company closes its doors

Announcement of the closing was made Friday afternoon by General Manager James H. Brown, who blamed business and economic reasons for the shut down.

Further details will be available when the management completes meetings which are set to begin next week with the retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Workers Union Local 750, according to Brown.

The factory was founded in 1872 in new York by H.J. Howe the inventor of a piston-type pump for the first horse-drawn firefighting equipment in the United States. operations were moved to Anderson, Indiana in 1917 during world war I to mount firefighting equipment on a (automobile chassis) built by the Lambert Co.