The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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March 31, 1908


Above, the city introduces the concept of a traveling blacksmith who shoes all of the Fire Department's horses rather than take them to the nearest blacksmith. The Times says the blacksmith (for some reason, we didn't use his name) shoes about 150 horses on a monthly rotation. But the new program didn't last long.  In July 1908, The Times reported that the department was planning to convert to motorized vehicles. In September 1911, The Times said the Fire Department was expecting to receive five Seagrave motorized chemical hose wagons, one motorized service truck and one motorized aerial truck. Blackie, the last surviving Fire Department horse, was sent to live at Griffith Park after being retired in 1921 and died in 1939 at the age of 37. His skeleton was apparently presented to the Los Angeles County Museum.

Quote of the Day: "The faithful horse will soon be a thing of the past." --Assistant Fire Chief George H. O'Donnell, Sept. 2, 1910


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