Smith Ambulance Tour
The Tuscarawas County Genealogical Society visited Smith Ambulance on 18 Sep 2019. They were greeted by Bob Smith, the owner of Smith Ambulance and Smith Funeral Home. He also is a collector of vintage ambulances and funeral memorabilia. He gave a short talk on the history of ambulances and funeral homes and then gave the group an interesting and excellent tour of his facility.
Originally some funeral homes used the same vehicle as both a hearse and ambulance as they were the only vehicles that a person could be transported lying down. The ambulance starts as a standard vehicle from an auto manufacturer which provides the engine, windshield, front seats and chassis. This is then shipped to an ambulance manufacturer to complete.
His collection is varied and very interesting. He has the New Phila Brush Truck used by their fire department from 1966 to 1996. He also showed us his 1922 Dodge Brothers Fire Truck. He was able to purchase from Jim Thorn in Cambridge a 1860 ambulance from the Civil War. He has a bright red 1959 Superior Royal Cadillac Ambulance. He purchased the last 2014 Ford Econoline ambulance built by Ford. The 1896 horse-drawn hearse and a funeral carriage is still occasionally used for special occasions.
He then showed us several coffins that where designed with windows.