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A Dayton Tri-Car Chemical Fire Machine Protects the Sheepshead Bay Board Track

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This pair of photos showing a Dayton Tri-Car Chemical, a very interesting little fire-fighting machine, were found in the Library of Congress archives; the images are with others that show the 1915 Astor Cup Race that was held at the Sheepshead Bay Board Track on October 9, 1915. The race was won by Gil Anderson in a Stutz Racing Car. The images appeared to be related and the possibility that this Tri-Car may have been used in the actual event was something worth looking into.

Found in the July 7, 1915 Fire and Water Engineering magazine published in New York City, was an accounting of one of the machines being put through its paces at the Speedway as follows:

“One of the Dayton Tri-Car chemicals was installed by the Woodside Mfg. Co. agents at the Sheepshead Bay Speedway in conjunction with the Astor Cup Races. In a public demonstration for the judges and officials, the car with a 35-gallon tank circled the two mile track in three minutes and 56 seconds. It so pleased the officials as well as the Fire Department in charge of the Speedway fire protection, it was then unanimously adopted for fire protection for the track, grandstands and buildings”.   

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Full details of the machine were to be found in the July-December 1915, Municipal Engineering magazine and can be seen below, the article also gives a good view of the machine from the rear. Sales of the unit appear to have been handled by the Davis Sewing Machine Co. of Dayton, Ohio, which built the Dayton Motorcycle. You can see one of their advertisements for the Dayton Tri-Car here.

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