Truck D was organized on March 15, 1871 at 119 Queen Street in the quarters of the volunteer Weccacoe Fire Company which was paid $1,088.33 for that year. Also organized at that station on the same date was Engine 3. The Truck’s carriage was built by Gardner & Fleming, of Philadelphia; the weight of the apparatus with manning was 7,500 pounds. The carriage carried seven ladders, 45, 40, 35, 28, 20, 16, and 12 feet in length.
The original company roster was as follows:
- William H. Gampher- Foreman
- Noah Boyer- Driver
- William C. Gibson- Tillerman
- George M. Schlag- Ladderman
- Martin L. Jenners- Ladderman
- James A. Rose- Ladderman
- Samuel M. Killen- Ladderman
- James Hanley- Ladderman
- William S. Osler- Ladderman
- Edward E. Wills- Ladderman
- George W. Gray- Ladderman
- Joseph T. Hammond- Ladderman
- Charles F. Mansfield- Ladderman
Mrs. Smith was the Matron (janitress).
In 1874, Truck D moved to a new station at 319 Union Street which was renamed Delancey Street in 1877.
Numbers replaced letters for designating truck companies on July 11, 1900.
Truck D became Truck 4.
On May 25, 1953, Ladder 4 moved to Engine 32’s station at 239-41 South 6th Street. In 1955, a new rear-mount, 100-foot Maxim-Magirus was assigned to Ladder 4. The Magirus aerial ladder mounted on the Maxim chassis was made in Germany. With an overall length of just under 32 feet, the apparatus was expected to be more maneuverable in heavy traffic.
On September 18, 1961, Ladder 4 moved to Engine 40’s station at 65th & Saybrook Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia, as opposed to Center City where there was a concentration of ladder companies, this location was over 2.5 miles from neighboring ladder companies at 50th & Baltimore Avenue and by the airport.
Today, Ladder 4 remains at this location along with Engine 40 and Medic 19.
See comment at the bottom of post for Engine 32