Bickle Fire Engines
On Commercial Chassis

by Ed Hass

Bradford, Ontario bought this Westinghouse pumper (built in Schenectady, NY) from Bickle. Judging by the style of Model T Ford in the background, this was probably about 1916. Although a gasoline motor drove the pump, the fire engine chassis was propelled by horses. Waterous (with factories in St. Paul, MN, and Branford, Ontario) made over 1000 such pumpers sold in the U.S. and Canada, but even with Bickle's help, Westinghouse sold only a handful of these.

At the same time that Bickle was making fire apparatus on Ahrens-Fox chassis and on their own Ahrens-Fox style custom chassis, they also made fire engines on commercial truck chassis, primarily made by Canadian truck builder Gotfredson of Winnipeg, Manitoba. For more information and photos about Gotfredson Trucks and Gotfredson-Bickle fire engines, see Below is a 1928 Gotfredson-Bickle quad (pumper, hose, chemical, and service ladder truck) for York Township #7:

1925 Gotfredson-Bickle pumper owned by Norm Dellandrea in Ontario, Canada.

This 1926 Gotfredson-Bickle chemical and hose car served Scarboro, Ontario.

Welland, Ontario, had this 1926 Gotfredson/Bickle pumper:

Merritton, Ontario, bought a Gotfredson/Bickle pumper in 1926. The town was annexed to St. Catherines, Ontario, in 1960. Firefighter Al Lobsinger of St. Catherines bought it on Christmas Day, 1987, and began restoration. A similar 1926 Gotfredson/Bickle, originally from Scarboro, Ontario, was used as a parts rig in this restoration. Motors in both trucks were six-cylinder Buda type.

Toronto, Ontario bought five of these Gotfredson/Bickle pumpers in 1927.

Bob & Marcia McCray of Ypsilanti, Michigan, own this 1927 Gotfredson/Bickle, ex-Guelph, Ontario.

1927 Gotfredson-Bickle pumper of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. This rig seems to be gone, but the fire department in Swift Current does still own a 1929 Chevrolet tractor-trailer ladder truck, a 1940 Dodge 1000 litre per minute pumper, and a circa-1900 Saskatoon Fire Engine Co. horse-drawn chemical unit.

Kingsville, Ontario still owns this Gotfredson/Bickle pumper and hose car with chemical tank.

This 1928 Gotfredson-Bickle service ladder truck served Toronto, Ontario.

1928 Gotfredson-Bickle pumper owned by Terry Huffman in Ontario, Canada.

1929 Gotfredson-Bickle pumper originally used in Calgary, Alberta, and now in the Calgary Firefighters Museum.

1929 Gotfredson-Bickle pumper still owned by Capreol, Ontario.

Bickle also built quite a few fire engines on a variety of other commercial truck chassis, besides Gotfredson.

Barrie, Ontario received the Chevrolet/Bickle above in 1919, and a second Chevrolet/Bickle (below) in 1934.

Bickle built this chemical-and-hose car on Model T Ford chassis for Point Edward, Ontario.

Here's another Ford TT/Bickle, for Otterville, Ontario.

In 1923, Revelstoke, British Columbia bought a Bickle chemical and hose car on International Harvester (IH) chassis, which they still own. You can find a photo of it at

That same year (1923), Berwick, Nova Scotia bought a Bickle chemical car (no hosebed) on Model T Ford chassis, which they also still own. You can find photos and history of this Bickle at

A photo of a 1923 IH/Bicklechemical and hose car of Esquimault, British Columbia, is at

This ex-Dutton, Ontario 1924 IH.Bickle is popular at antique fire engine musters on both sides of the Michigan-Ontario border.

Blyth, Ontario bought a 1925 Bickle on Reo Speedwagon chassis, second-hand for $2,700 in 1941, and still own it. See

Whitby, Ontario, received the Bickle pumper above (possibly on a Fisher or Gotfredson chassis?) in 1925.

Oshawa, Ontario, received a Bickle pumper on GMC chassis in 1926, a gift from R. S. McLaughlin, founder of General Motors of Canada Limited, who was an Oshawa resident. A Chevrolet/Bickle hose wagon followed in 1934. Oshawa's next Bickle pumper was an 800-GPM centrifugal, delivered June 14, 1939. For more about the history of the Oshawa Fire Department (no photos), see

This 1926 Reo/Bickle pumper originally served Harrow, Ontario.

Dryden, Ontario, bought two Bickles on commercial chassis. The first, ordered June 21, 1925, was a hose wagon, and cost only $300. The second, a chemical and hose car on 1-1/2 ton Chevrolet chassis, was ordered May 22, 1929, and delivered September 5, 1929, for $2,122. Dryden still owns the 1929 Chevrolet/Bickle, which you can find at

Park Hill, Ontario, had the 1926 Reo-Bickle pumper shown below:

John Dybus of Welland, Ontario, also owns a 1926 Reo-Bickle:

Bickle built this 350 Imperial GPM pumper on Chevrolet chassis for Wilkie, Ontario, in 1929.

Southampton, Ontario, used this 1929 Chevrolet/Bickle, now owned by Saugeen Shores, Ontario.

Belleville, Ontario still owns this 1929 IH/Bickle service ladder truck.

Bickle built this two-tank chemical and hose car on Canadian Ford Model A chassis for Ridgeway, Ontario, about 1930. Note the spoked wood artillery wheels.

Bickle built this chemical and hose car on Fisher chassis for Quebec City, Quebec.

ex-Wardsville, Ontario 1931 Bickle is on a Maple Leaf chassis.

Colborne, Ontario, still owns and has restored a 1931 Ford/Bickle fire engine.

Orono, Ontario, used this 1933 Chevrolet/Bickle pumper, now owned by the Orono Firefighters Association.

Hanover, Ontario, still owns this 1937 Chevrolet/Bickle.