The first fire engines in the U.S., called hand pumpers, were shipped to New York from England in the 1700s. Water was pumped from the tub by volunteers working long, parallel handles on the truck. American manufacturers produced similar hand pumpers until the early 1800s, when the steam pumper was developed, which supplied a continuous stream of water more effectively.

The earliest fire trucks were hand pulled to the scene, but by the mid-1800s, horses were used to draw the steam pumpers and running boards, and back steps were added to the vehicle. In 1906, the Radnor Fire Company in Wayne, PA began offering a pumper with two gasoline motors, bringing fire trucks into the modern age.

If you're interested in collecting vintage fire trucks or apparatus, some of the manufacturer names you'll want to explore include Waterous, Ahrens-Fox, Dedrick, Mack Trucks, Peter Pirsch and Sons, American LaFrance, New Stutz Fire Engine Company, Seagrave, Sutphen, Babcock, Snorkel, Spartan Chassis, Inc. and Emergency One. You may also want to consider starting with vintage model fire trucks, which take up considerably less space!


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive

Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive

This incredibly comprehensive archive of LAFD ephemera and memorabilia is as good a history of 19th and 20th centur… [read review or visit site]

Fire Hydrant Collections

Fire Hydrant Collections

Don't let your dog near this site... hundreds of photos of fire hydrant collections from over 60 individual collect… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Jeep : Cherokee Fire Truck Mint Fire Chef Car From Oh See Video In Description Low Mls One OwnerFord : Other Pickups Fire 1961 Ford F 600 Toy Hauler Conversion Fire Truck New Tires 6400 Original Miles1927 Keystone Packard Water Tower Fire Truck .. Restored1988 Emergency One Cyclone Fire Truck (item#1707)Vintage White Tonka Suburban Pumper Fire Truck 1959 W/boxVintage English Mamod Live Steam Model Fire EngineFord : Other Young 1978 Ford Young Custom Pumper Fire Truck 1 000 Gal 750 GpmCool Vintage Nos Red Signal Stat Running Lamps Lights Rat Hot Rod Fire Truck BusFdny Fire Helmet Front, Engine 283 Brooklyn NyTonka 1950's No 5 Fire Pumper TruckOriginal Vtg Los Angeles County Fire Helmet, 1950s Engine Co. 117 Lancaster, Ca1956 Tonka Fire Truck For Parts Restore 1956 Tonka T.f.d No. 5 Hook And Ladder Fire TruckVery Nice Pressed Steel Tonka Toys 1957 Hydraulic #5 T.f.d. Fire TruckOther Makes : Fire Engine Bedford Nh #1 1946 American Lafrance Fire Engine Bedford Nh 11954 Gmc Seagrave Fire Truck (low Miles)Code 3 Hard-to-find Set - San Diego Fire Dept Pierce Engine 29 Ladder 28Vintage Relic Keystone Packard No. 49 Fire Ladder Truck - Parts/restorationVintage 1950's Large Sirenlite Fire Alarm Fire Engine Siren Estate Item NrAntique Cast Iron Steam Pumper Fire Truck Wagon & Horses 17” Ives KingsburyHighway 61 1:16th 1941 Chevrolet Pumper Fire Truck 1920s-30s Oh Boy Pressed Steel Large Fire Engine Truck 17x7x6 Inches Very RareChevrolet : Other Pickups 6400 1950 Chevy Fire Truck 6400Fire Truck Antique Vintage Accessory Captains LightFire Truck Antique Vintage Akron Gated Y ValveVintage Doepke Model Toys Rossmoyne American Lafrance Fire Engine Ladder TruckAntique/vintage Toy Red Metal No.5 Fire Truck 17” X 6” Vintage/antique 1947 American Lafrance 700 Fire Pumper Engine TruckWorking Vintage Federal Sign & Signal Siren Horn 12 Volt Model 28 Fire TruckVintage Turner Pressed Steel Fire Ladder TruckCode 3 2002 Chicago Fire Department Freightliner Engine # 92 1/64 Scale MibHighway 61 1:16th 1941 Gmc Pumper Fire Truck Code 3 Alf 900 Truck 4 San Francisco Fire Truck Nib1/64Code 3 Fire Truck Limited Edition Chicago Fd Hook & Ladder # 46 2002Lego City Fire Station 60004 New In Sealed Box 5 Minifigs Fire Truck HellicopterFiretruck Pedal Car Kids Ride On Toy Deluxe Ladder Fire Truck Classic Vintage Matchbox Mbx 2015 Special Edition Pierce Velocity Aerial Fire Truck Heroic HeroLego City Fire Station 60004 New In Sealed Box 5 Minifigs Fire Truck HellicopterMoko Lesney Matchbox Superfast Model #57 Land Rover Fire Truck Nmib Htf T LabelsHard To Find Code 3 City Of Miami Pierce Dash Engine 3 Fire Truck CollectableVintage Original Captain's Fire Truck Alarm Siren Un-restored! Spins Freely! Federal Signal Corp. Cp100 Fire Truck Siren Speaker W/original HardwareMonogram Vintage Firecracker Custom Fire Engine Model O/b 1971Tyco Us 1 Electric Trucking #3456 Fire Station, #3911 Fire Engine, UsedFire Truck Pedal Car Vintage Sure Fire Racers Edge .32 Nitro Engine With Complete Clutch And MountsNylint Cadet Snorkel Fire Truck1950's Tonka Ladder Fire Truck Complete With All The EquipmentOld Murray Red Fire Engine Truck Original Retro Pedal Car Tractor Vintage66/80cc Flying Horse Black Angle Fire Bicycle Engine Kit 2 Stroke Retail 189.95Chrome Siren Speaker -federal Signal Cp-25- Fire Truck WorksLook Old Rare Lumar Marx Willy's Jeep Fire Rescue Pickup Truck Clean & ShinyVintage 1940's Toy Die Cast Fire Truck HubleyCode 3 Pirce Dash Miami Fire & Rescue Pumper 3 1/64 Ltd Ed NiobCode 3 Mack Cf Pumper Fdny Engine 75 Fire Truck Nib1/64Federal Signal Cj 284 Series A3 Fire Truck Pa Light Beacon1950's Hook & Ladder Fire Truck 8 3/4" By Kkk Of JapanCode 3 Chicago Fire E-one Platform O'hare Ladder Truck 63 - Limited EditionHubley Fire TruckCode 3 E-one Ladder Collectors Club Fire Truck Nib 1/64

Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

The upscale Flea at the Evaporator Works brings vintage, food, jewelry, great ...
cleveland.com, May 26th

Food trucks stuffed with delicious selections will be on hand including Wholly Frijoles, Beachcomber Truck, Fire Truck Pizza, Swenson's Food Truck, and Wok-n-Roll. Other edible treats include Floured Apron's baked goods sold out of a retro-fitted...Read more

Antique Fire Trucks to Be Showcased at Doylestown Event
Patch.com, May 26th

Antique Fire Trucks to Be Showcased at Doylestown Event. As many as 40 pieces of apparatus from around Bucks County will be on display at the Mercer Museum's free Firefighting Day on June 7. By Kara Seymour (Patch Staff) May 26, 2015. Share...Read more

Lower Lake Daze makes a splash
Record Bee, May 26th

The parade was followed by an antique car display along Main Street and a barbecue at Russell Rustici Lower Lake County Park, all sponsored by the Lower Lake Community Action Group and the Lakeshore Lions Club. The park event included several ...Read more

Dacula celebrates Memorial Day with a roar at annual parade
Gwinnettdailypost.com, May 25th

The field of entries also included cloggers, Dacula High School's cheer leading and football teams, the Gwinnett Braves' van-surfing mascot, antique cars, little league teams, a bagpipe player, motorcycle police, a fire truck and restored military...Read more

Doylestown's Mercer Museum holding Firefighting Day June 7
NJ.com, May 22nd

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. -- The Mercer Museum celebrates its Volunteer Firefighting exhibit with a special outdoor Firefighting Day and Antique Equipment Muster on the grounds of the museum on Sunday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. This free event features fire ...Read more

Antique, lovingly restored fire truck to debut at Memorial Day parade
Syracuse.com, May 22nd

When the restored '27 "Little Buffalo" makes its debut in the Minoa Memorial Day parade Monday, it will have special meaning for local firefighters. Minoa's very first fire engine, manufactured by The Buffalo Fire Engine Corp., was used to battle the...Read more

BCFPD hosts antique fire truck expo
Chicago Tribune, May 18th

"We're happy to welcome the community to our firehouse," said Captain Angela Grandgeorge, who was on hand at the first-ever Antique Fire Truck Show. Most of the parked vintage water pumper vehicles sported some range of red, be it bright reds or that ...Read more

Antique fire truck show coming to Lake Barrington May 16
Chicago Tribune, May 8th

Barrington-area residents will have the opportunity on Saturday, May 16 to see almost two dozen antique fire engines, tenders and other vintage firefighting equipment during the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District's first-ever antique fire...Read more