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!

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Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

Traci's Hope barbecue preview
Binghamton Homepage, September 30th

Crusin' Buddies car club and the Southern Tier antique tractor club will have displays. There will also be hundreds of gift baskets you can bid on, a 50/50 drawing, a ping-pong drop from a fire truck where you can win money, and a DJ. Traci Gibson lost...Read more

14th annual Menlo Park Pancake Breakfast on October 4th benefits burn victims
InMenlo, September 30th

Junior League volunteers are organizing several fun activities for kids. The Fire District will host a silent auction featuring items such as a visit with “Old Tom,” their antique fire truck, at a birthday party or event, dinner at Menlo Grill Bistro...Read more

Troy Fire Department hosts annual open house
The Daily Tribune, September 30th

Each station will offer different events including meeting Sparky the Fire Dog (stations #1, 3 and 4), a 1940 antique fire truck display (stations #2, 5 and 6), a helicopter landing (station #6) and a World Trade Center artifacts display (station #3...Read more

Mikaela Shiffrin gets street named for her in Avon
Modesto Bee, September 30th

The Vail Daily ( reports that Shiffrin rode in an antique fire truck during a parade in heavy rain and then tore down a gold tarp covering the road sign. About two dozen young ski racers followed behind her despite the weather...Read more

Firefighters want to restore historic engine
Eagle-Tribune, September 29th

One firefighter, Midgely said, is into antique trucks and restorations. "He said to me, 'I'd like to look at ways that we can collaboratively get this into shape,'" he said. Bullock said he calculated the repairs, if the department does them, would...Read more

N.H. Firefighters Anxious to Restore Historic Engine, September 29th

The town owns a Ford Model AA fire truck, known as Engine 2, which has been at the department since it was purchased in 1929. Fire Chief James Midgley said ... One firefighter, Midgely said, is into antique trucks and restorations. "He said to me, 'I'd...Read more

Antique fire truck returns to Oneida after 50 years
Oneida Dispatch, September 21st

Antique fire truck returns to Oneida after 50 years. The 1917 American LeFrance fire truck once owned by the Oneida Fire Department and recently repurchased by firefighters. JOHN HAEGER @ONEIDAPHOTO ON TWITTER/ONEIDA DAILY DISPATCH...Read more

Antique fire truck used to give last rides to fallen Michigan firefighters ...
Bay City Times, September 10th

BAY CITY, MI — For long-time Bay Area businessman James "Jimmie" Dobson, his legacy comes in the form of a pristine antique fire truck now used to transport fallen firefighters from Michigan and Ontario to their final resting place. Dobson, 85...Read more