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Howe Fire Apparatus Company

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Howe Fire Apparatus Office. Howe manufactured fire trucks and equipment for 66 years in   Anderson. In 1978, the company closed the Anderson plant and moved to Roanoke, Va. They were bought out by Grumman.

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Howe Fire Apparatus Office. Howe manufactured fire trucks and equipment for 66 years in   Anderson. In 1978, the company closed the Anderson plant and moved to Roanoke, Va. They were bought out by Grumman.

Grumman manufactured fire engines under the name Firecat and aerial tower trucks under the Aerialcat name. The company entered the fire apparatus business in 1976 with its purchase of Howe Fire Apparatus and ended operations in 1992.

The Howe company was founded in 1872, and built their first pumper on a motor chassis in 1907. They were building on Ford Model T chassis in 1917, and in the 1920s built the Howe Defender on Defiance chassis. When Defiance production ceased in 1930 they began to make their own chassis, also called Defender, as well as using commercial chassis such as Ford and International. The New Defender on a Waukesha-engined Duplex chassis came in 1953, with 750, 1000 and 1250 gpm pumpers, open or closed cabs. Pumpers on commercial chassis were still made in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1967 came a new custom cab-forward chassis with an open or closed Cincinnati cab, still called the Defender. In 1974 Howe acquired the Oren-Roanoke and Coast companies.

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