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

Duggan: Piece of firefighting history coming home
The Coloradoan, July 30th

Last weekend's auction of antique tractors and sundry other pieces of equipment at Swets Farm had an unusual participant: Poudre Fire Authority. PFA wanted to reclaim a piece of its history. On the auction block was a historic “Holabird” firetruck that...Read more

10 ways to squeeze the most out of summer in North Ridgeville (photos)
cleveland.com, July 30th

FIREFIGHTING HISTORY: The city's firefighters are always there for you, but how did the fire department get to where it is today? And what was it like years ago before the modern advancements? Check out the Fire Museum, right under the city's water...Read more

Firefighting memorabilia on display at Wyckoff library
NorthJersey.com, July 29th

Firefighting memorabilia on display at Wyckoff library. July 30, 2015 Last updated: Thursday, July 30, 2015, ... Library director Mary Witherell teamed up with members of the Wyckoff Volunteer Fire Department to showcase an antique collection of...Read more

Touch a Truck returns in Rock Falls
SaukValley.com, July 29th

Antique Archaeology, the business featured on the TV show “American Pickers,” will bring its Sprinter van. Robbie Wolfe, brother of the ... will bring its vehicle, “Leslie.” The pink fire truck is named after a police officer who lost her battle with...Read more

Thousands of birthday cards pour in for Md. boy with genetic disorder
MyFox Detroit, July 29th

The first responders showed up on Jordin's birthday Tuesday with an antique fire truck and 150 cards. “To walk in and tell him, 'Jordin, we're here to help you celebrate your birthday and to give you all these cards,' just to see his face light up was...Read more

Experience Colorado's Mining Days in Silver Plume
5280 | The Denver Magazine, July 29th

Among the captivating displays on the self-guided tour is an old fire truck, furniture, and clothing from the early 20th-century, and a slew of mining-era equipment. Make sure your crew gets a good look at the antique dentist chair and manual washing ...Read more

Family devastated after box of love letters stolen
KIRO Seattle, July 29th

then spotted the box, labeled “love letters from Bob,” inside (inside the firefighting gear?). But the box was empty and the letters ... She's been checking Craigslist and eBay and contacted pawn shops and antique stores. Bob Binkley died 21 years ago...Read more

Antique fire-truck show joins First Saturday in Georgetown
Coastal Point, July 9th

Fire-truck lovers will converge on Georgetown this weekend, as antique fire trucks will be on display at the Marvel Carriage Museum as part of the Georgetown Historical Society's First Saturday. “First Saturday started in May and runs through September...Read more