Product Idea |

1937 American LaFrance Senior "Metropolitan" Model 412 Fire Engine

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This is a replica of a standard 400-series fire engine that was manufactured for fire departments across the United States by American LaFrance, a government-contracted manufacturer that sadly ceased operations in 2014. The 400 series- nicknamed the "Metropolitan"- was produced between 1935 and 1939, and only 141 of the 400 series were manufactured in total. This particular engine is based on the 1937 Model 412. Only 21 of these exact models were produced.
This model includes the engine itself, two wooden ladders, a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, a spool of extra hose, a fireman's axe, a fire extinguisher, and a name placard with a fire badge.

**This was rendered digitally- the physical version will also include an additional crate with a string net. All colors are already produced by LEGO.

As a kid, I was fascinated by any modern fire engine I happened to see, but I also got the distinct privilege of living in proximity to a high-quality fire department history museum. I went very frequently, and it was incredible for my young mind to see the tools the fire department used in the past. I was enthralled by the hulking, ornate engines that were used in the decades after the commercialization of the internal combustion engine in America. These 400 Series engines were utilitarian in nature, but the designers took visual inspiration from luxury cars of the day to incorporate an aesthetic appeal that gave the American people a real sense of pride in the emergency response personnel - the imperial-looking designs and shiny chrome and gold colors represented the heroism that firefighters exemplified in their service. In the early 20th century, firefighting was much riskier than it is today. Without technologies such as oxygen masks, serious injuries from smoke inhalation were much more common.

This model is dedicated to all of the firefighters that have sacrificed to keep people safe.

The Metropolitan serves many functions- it can be a beautiful shelf display piece, a conversation starter, a fun build process to enjoy, and most importantly- a teaching tool.
Most children don't live just down the street from a beautiful fire department history museum, so they aren't able to see many antique fire trucks like this one. While I was admiring the massive engines, I was unknowingly absorbing a wealth of knowledge about the history of American firefighting, and it has given me a great respect for public service members like firefighters. I was able to see the tools that they used, I could see how firefighters live and work, and I even became more aware of fire safety practices that my family then implemented in our own home. Suddenly, seeing cool fire trucks "accidentally" gave me useful knowledge that helps me stay safe even to this day, and I still thank firefighters for their service to the community often.
In the LEGO instructions booklet that comes with every official LEGO set, I would like to replace the section dedicated to the LEGO IDEAS creator with a section dedicated to firefighting history. After each part of the model is built, I would like to include a page on how the different tools were used. In this way the Metropolitan can be both a fun LEGO building experience and an educational experience for people of all ages and from all across the world.

If you decide to support, thank you so much!
If you want to build this for yourself, the parts list is on BrickLink, but the instructions have been removed due to the American LaFrance IP conflict.
I haven't outlined the instructions completely yet, but if someone DMs me on Instagram I will get that done for y'all and post it there. My Instagram tag is @brick_jam1.

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