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History Lives: Doylestown’s First Ambulances


In August 1915, the Intelligencer reported that the Dr. Oliver P. James Memorial Ambulance [a rebuilt Packard] had responded to about 10 calls since being presented to the borough.
“John O. Wynten was employed as chauffeur and will have exclusive care of the ambulance, which will be stored in Howard Atkinson’s new building on Main Street. The ambulance shall be used only to convey the sick or injured from their temporary or permanent abiding places, or where they may have been injured, to places where they are to receive treatment, and for their return, if desired, upon convalescing.
“No charge will be made for the use of the ambulance by residents of Doylestown. It will be supported by voluntary contributions ... There will be a minimum rate for every trip outside of the borough and within a radius of five miles of $10; and for a trip of over five miles up to 10 miles, of $15, which must be satisfactorily provided for before the ambulance is taken, excepting in cases of charity or emergency.”

“At the April 19, 1926 meeting of the Doylestown Borough Council, ‘a letter was read from Dr. Lorah and Miss James expressing their desire to donate a new ambulance to the Borough of Doylestown and a motion was made that council proceed to secure bids for an ambulance from the different automobile dealers and these bids be submitted to council to make a selection, but before final selection is made, the successful bid be submitted to the donors for their approval, seconded and carried.’ The following day, April 20, the council agreed to submit to the donors the selection of a Willys Knight costing $3,780 and a Buick costing $3,375. The Willys Knight was chosen.”
Photo credits: Milton Rutherford Collection, as published in “Through Their Eyes - A Story of Doylestown Hospital by Anne Biggs,” Tower Hill Press, 1998.

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