The Modern Fire Department

Courtesy of Jim Perkins, whose sharp eye caught the date error on our photograph of the 1902 Joplin Fire Department, are three photographs from the Joplin Fire Department’s past.  Below are photographs of some of the first motorized fire fighting apparatuses in the nation.  Specifically, is a photo of the Joplin Goat and two of the Webb Engine.  All three were the creations of Al Webb, who had a mechanics shop not far from the Joplin Fire Department headquarters (city hall – which these are parked in front of).    The arrival of these machines helped usher in a new age of firefighting and literally set out to pasture the fire horses they replaced.

The Joplin Goat, courtesy of Jim Perkins.

The Webb Engine, courtesy of Jim Perkins.

The Webb Engine, courtesy of Jim Perkins.

Source: The Jim Perkins Collection


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5 Responses to “The Modern Fire Department”


  • Comment from Joe Diaz

    My family has told me that my great grandfather helped build the first fire engine in Joplin. Do you, or perhaps Mr. Perkins, know the names of the people who may have worked with Al Webb on the fire engines pictured, including The Goat? I know that my great grandfather’s family lived in the Joplin area during the time period that the first engines were built. Thanks, Joe Diaz

  • Comment from Brown

    Hi Joe,

    Off the top of our heads, we’re not sure of the other folks who worked with Al Webb. We’ll dig into our sources and send Jim Perkins a note and see if we can’t find an answer. Thank you for the interest and the family history!

  • Comment from Joe Diaz

    Brown, Thank you for the reply comment. My great grandfather’s family name is Rodarme. I would appreciate any history you might have on the Rodarme’s in Joplin. Yours truly, Joe Diaz

  • Comment from Brown

    Hi Joe, we’ve so far managed to find some interesting connections, but nothing definitive. Would you be able to provide your great-grandfather’s name, by chance and any other family lore associated with his time in Joplin? If you’re concerned about privacy, please feel free to write us at our email address found under the About Us tab on the top of the page. Thanks!

  • Comment from Joe Diaz

    Brown, My great grandfather’s name was Charles W. Rodarme. His father was William B. Rodarme and his mother was Anna B. Rodarme. One of his brothers was William A. “Bert” Rodarme, who owned the Bon Marche Bakery. Bert died on Feb. 22 1938 in Joplin. My great grandfather left Joplin for Seattle around 1910. Joe Diaz


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