Los Angeles Fire Department
Shop No.79 was still located with Engine 24 when it was taken out of service on July 19, 1921 and sent to the Municipal Shops where the 1918 American La-France Type 31 2-wheeled tractor was removed from Shop No.22, Engine 3's Ex 1st Size Metropolitan steamer and attached to the tower motorizing the last horse-drawn apparatus in service on the LAFD. It was returned to service at Engine Co. 24 on October 13, 1921.
Water Tower 1's last horse-drawn run was with "Archie" (No.152),
"Tom" (No.158) and "Pinky"
(No.192) pulling the Gorter out of Engine Co.No.24 on February 8, 1921;
Contrary to one claim that the Gorter Water Tower and Water Tower-Truck Co.24 both operated at the Grey Building fire on November 6, 1939, it did not happen. Only Only Water Tower-Truck Co.24, Shop No.1085, the 1938 American La-France operated at this fire.
Henry H. Gorter's most notable accomplishment was the three water towers he designed and built, however his Gorter Monitor and Wagon Battery nozzles and worm-type nozzle shut-offs were widely used in many Western fire departments. Gorter's shut-offs were designed to give hosemen the ability of turning off and on high pressure streams and to prevent hosemen from slamming nozzles shut which ran the risk of bursting hose, or stalling rotary type pumping engines, and on rare occasion, breaking the crank shaft on rotary type engines. S.F.&W. W. Hirsch, Seagrave agents in Los Angeles sold a worm-type shut-off called the "Metropolitan" made by L. F. Katona. It was adopted as standard on the LAFD. When they were no longer available, the LAFD purchased the patterns and made them in their own well equipped shops. They can still be found on LAFD apparatus.
Walt Pittman 4-23-89
This article appeared in the September 1987 issue of The FIREMAN'S GRAPEVINE.
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