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

Knife wins award for outstanding service.
Troy Daily News, July 29th

This award is sponsored by the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America or SPAAMFAA. This organization has more than 3,000 members and more than 50 chapters. It was organized in 1958 in Syracuse, N.Y...Read more

Veteran Kingston firefighter makes his last call
Times Herald-Record, July 29th

Taps was then played from a single bugle. A bell from an antique fire truck was rung. And an American flag laid over Matthews casket was folded into a triangle and given to a young grandson of Matthews. The firefighting community was an important part...Read more

Ceremony to honour Southwold firefighter Kevin James
St. Thomas Times-Journal, July 29th

Southwold firefighter Kevin James, left, and his wife Caitlin, centre, look out at dozens of firefighters and a Southwold fire truck gathered outside Victoria Hospital in London on July 12. James died Friday after battling colon cancer and wanted to...Read more

Pilot of drone ordered away from California wildfire posts video
Los Angeles Times, July 29th

The pilot of a "quadcopter" drone that nearly interrupted aerial firefighting efforts when it hovered over the massive Sand fire east of Sacramento posted a brief explanation online alongside the footage he took from the air. “This footage just...Read more

Sacramento-area fire has burned 19 homes
Reno Gazette Journal, July 29th

The man controlling the drone was told to stop it because of the potential danger to firefighting planes. He was not cited. Another fire about 100 miles away had burned through a little more than 4 square miles of brush and trees in Yosemite National...Read more

Private Drone Near Sand Fire Almost Hinders Air Firefighting Efforts
CBS Local, July 28th

In addition to the homes and cabins, it has destroyed a collection of 13 antique cars that a man was restoring in the town of Plymouth, the Sacramento Bee reported. Neighbors have stepped in to help those forced from their homes and ranches. The Amador ...Read more

Antique fire truck shines again
Sedalia News-Journal, July 24th

The West Central Missouri Vintage Auto Club has restored a 1929 Ford Fire Truck that was last used in the 1960s. The sparkling-clean historical vehicle was on display Wednesday at the Missouri State Fair's Fire House. and will also be on display during...Read more

Cool cars, antique and modern firefighting vehicles on display at two free ...
The Oregonian, July 18th

There will be: displays of firefighting and emergency rescue vehicles; heavy rescue equipment; hazardous materials apparatus; and antique firefighting equipment including a steam engine, hose cart wagon and two of Vancouver Fire Department's original ...Read more