Carlton Maxim was a volunteer firefighter in Middleborough, Massachusetts, who also owed an automobile garage and salesroom. After his fire department purchased a Knox combination wagon, Maxim knew that he could build a better fire truck. He was right. In 1914, Maxim built his first fire apparatus. Within a short time, Maxim was delivering fire apparatus to other New England fire departments. In 1918, the Maxim Motor Company was founded.
Maxim eventually sold complete line of fire apparatus. Most Maxim fire apparatus saw service northeast. Maxim aerial ladders, however, were sold to other apparatus builders like Mack, Crown and Ward LaFrance, and saw service from coast to coast.
Maxim would be the victim of poor business practices of its corporate owners. In 1989 Maxim went out of business.
The SPAAMFAA Archives has an amazing collection containing tens of thousands of images of fire apparatus. Ultimately we have lofty goals of cataloging, indexing, scanning, and digitizing everything electronically, with copies of most of the illustrative material cross available for personal-use. In the meantime you can a selection of these images on our SmugMug gallery:
Maxim Fire Apparatus….New England’s Chariot of Fire.