Engine 48 was organized May 30, 1900 at 930 S. 7th Street. Their building was built as a combined fire/police station. The 2 bay station had one assigned for fire apparatus, the other for police vehicles. They were assigned a 1900 Holloway combination hose and chemical wagon along with an 1888 Silsby second size steamer that had formerly been assigned to Engine 15.

In 1922 the company was motorized when they received a 1922 American LaFrance 900 gpm pumper and a 1922 American LaFrance combination hose and chemical wagon. They became a one-piece engine company in 1958 when they were assigned a 1949 Autocar 750 gpm pumper that had formerly been assigned to Engines 22 and 49.

Beginning in 1952, the department began to build new stations, replacing those built during the era of horse-drawn apparatus. During the horse-drawn era, firehouses were built closer together based on how far a horse could run at full speed before tiring. Motorized apparatus could cover a much larger response area faster than the horses. As a result, companies were eliminated and new stations were built centrally, to cover the larger districts. Because of this, Engine 48 was disbanded on July 15, 1958. The station’s site is now a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Have an interesting story about Engine 48 that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you. Use the comment form below.

Looking for interesting Philadelphia Fire Department Merchandise? Visit our store for great patches and much more.