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    

1970 American Lafrance Pumper Fire Truck--very Good ConditionChevrolet : Other Pickups 6400 1949 Chevrolet Fire Truck Model 64001925 Reo Speedwagon Fire Truck From Athens Ga Nice Barn Find Big 6 Cyl 1954 Dodge Mb-2 Crash, Fire And Rescue Truck *** Very Rare ***Other Makes Fire Truck 1928 Reo Fire TruckCast Iron "pumper" Fire Engine, 11" Rubber Tires, Hubley? Needs WorkLtd Toy Stamp & 1940s Smith Miller Mack Fire Dept Ladder TruckPola Lgb #992 Fire Station House & Tower W/diecast 1935 Mack Fire Truck, G Scale Gmc Farrar 7000 4x4 Fire Truck1978 Ward Lafrance 85' Tower Fire Truck, Detroit Diesel 18k MilesLesney Matchbox Superfast Team Fire Pumper Truck 291950's Tippco Tipp Germany Tin Friction Vw Volkswagen Fire Ladder Truck Toy30's 40's 50's 60's Vintage Federal Old Police Fire Truck Chevy Ford Siren1982 Fire Truck, Pumper Truck, Ford, Detroit Diesel1982 Gmc Fire TruckVintage Federal Sign And Signal Fire Truck SirenLtd Toy Stamp & 1950's Lumar Marx Vfd No 9 Fire Ladder Truck 31" LongAntique 1920 Structo Cfd Fire Truck W/ Ladders Metal Wheels Bell & Hose ReelOriginal 1954 Tonka Mfd Aerial Ladder Fire Truck Trailer-nr!Antique Fire Truck Carnival Ride Pinto Bros Coney Island, Ny Amusement ParkVintage 1950's Smith Miller Pressed Steel No 3 Fire Truck For Repair RestoreMixed Lot Fisher Price Little People Vehicles Cars Fire Truck Mail Truck Chairs1975 Fmc/ Bean Fire Engine. Very Nice Shape!Vintage Siren / Red Light From Air Force O-11a Crash Fire Truck 24 Dc MilitaryVintage ~ Tonka ~ No. 5 Fire Truck 1960'sCode 3 Collectibles #12129 American Lafrance Fire Engine 306 Yonkers NyVintage Nylint Ford Econoline #8100 Suburban Pumper Fire Engine~brush Fire TruckFord : Expedition Xlt 2000 Ford Expedition Xlt 4 X 4 Fully Operational Fire Chief S Truck 122 K MilesTekno Denmark: Triangel Ladder Fire Truck "zonen" No. 485 In Vg Condition!!!!Large Ride-on Fire Department Truck By MarxVintage Rossmoyne Doepke Fire TruckAntique Vintage Solar Spotlight Car Fire Truck Boat Ship Headlight Carbide LightGmc E-one Arff Crash Fire Rescue Truck Foam Dry Chemical 4x4 Auto Mint 1953 Fire Truck1910 Tacoma Washington Yardlong Frame Fire Department Chemical Fire Engine PhotoVintage Snorkel Fire Truck Emblem Name PlateModel Toys Doepke Rossmoyne American Lafrance Ladder Fire Truck & Rare BookletRt Franklin Mint B11xr57 Mack Ch Fire Truck Hose Co. #3 Tanker Tt 1/43Vintage 1950's Smith Miller Die-cast Mack Smfd No. 3 Fire Truck Aerial Ladder Large Antique Vintage Dietz Spotlight Car Fire Truck Boat Ship Headlight Light1968 International R185 Fire Truck ( Look International Fire Truck Collectors )Hubley Fire TruckVintage Antique Siren Old Car Truck Fire Engine Hard To Find!Cast Iron Fire Truck Driver Figure W/steering Wheel-original-3" Very, Very NiceVintage 1958 Murray Fire Truck Pumper No. 1 Pedal Car All Original UnrestoredVintage Fire Truck Siren - *barn Fresh* - Working & Belt DrivenCode 3 Fire Diecast American Lafrance Engine, Buffalo Ny Vintage Signed Eisenberg Fire Engine Orange, Green & Amber Rhinestone BroochVintage Dictator Fire Truck Siren C.a.m. Co. Collectible Diecast Old Mack L Model 1 Allentown, Pa Fire Truck 2004 First GearVintage, Obsolete Dietz Fire Truck Light, Model # 211 (new Lens)Marx No. 9 Hook And Ladder Fire Truck1950's France Tin Windup Fire Ladder Renault Truck Toy With Climbing FiremanLarge Antique Vintage Dietz Spotlight Car Fire Truck Boat Ship Headlight LightEuc!! Mini Boden Baby Boy Fire Engine Tee 3/4Vintage Tonka #5 Suburban Pumper Fire TruckEarly 1960 Tonka Toys Ford Fire Ladder Tt Truck - Cab Only V Rare 100% OriginalNos Vtg Antique Torpedo Fender Headlight Parking Turn Signal Lights W-boxes Hot1950's Rossignol France Tin Windup Fire Emergency Truck Poste Radio #2Vintage Tonka Fire Truck As Is! Free Shipping!

Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

Firehouse Subs® Extinguishes Hunger In Laredo With First Restaurant
Laredo Sun, October 21st

Founded by former firefighting brothers, the restaurant's firehouse décor is based on the founding family's decades of fire and police service, and the new location is decorated with firefighter memorabilia from the Laredo Fire Department. The...Read more

Together in diversity
Suffolk News-Herald, October 21st

There will be a parade, kids' activities, entertainment, Halloween and pet costume contests, antique cars, vendors and the dedication of a fire truck to the late Jerry Saunders, former chief of the village's volunteer fire department. Events get under...Read more

Hamilton OKs new fire truck
Wicked Local Wenham, October 21st

Voters approved all articles on the warrant; the vote to purchase the new quint fire truck was unanimous. A two-thirds vote was required on Article 2-5 to purchase the truck because it involves incurring debt. The total cost is $940,000, and the quint...Read more

13 INVESTIGATES: Flying on the public dime
Alabama's13.com, October 20th

The Jefferson County District Attorney is probing a warehouse deal between the county EMA and an antique fire truck organization. The Jefferson County District Attorney is probing a warehouse deal between the county EMA and an antique fire truck ...Read more

Hamilton Town Meeting set for Oct. 20
Wicked Local Wenham, October 20th

The articles to be voted on at the Special Town Meeting deal with amending the bylaws for the Council on Aging and providing funds in three areas: a new fire truck, salaries of town employees and several improvement projects. Selectmen ... The CPC is...Read more

Zebulon Night Out gets its point across
Eastern Wake News, October 17th

The Zebulon Fire Department offered free rides on its antique fire truck at Zebulon Night Out at the Zebulon Community Center in Zebulon, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. AARON MOODY — amoody@newsobserver.com |Buy Photo ...Read more

KHTS Fire Truck
KHTS Radio, October 14th

As a sponsor, your business shall receive banner ads on the fire truck picture web page, highlighting your event. Your page will be accessed many times as parents visit to download the free pictures of their kids who have climbed on board our firetruck...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