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

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Quincy's 3-day Christmas holiday bash starts Friday
The Patriot Ledger, November 27th

The highlight is the 63rd annual Christmas parade, which begins at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and will feature 100 groups, with floats, marching bands, antique cars and Santa, who rides on a fire truck. The parade starts in Quincy Center at Hannon Parkway and ...Read more

Clsoer than the North Pole
The Edwardsville Intelligencer, November 27th

Volo Antique Malls' Open House: November 27-29 at the Volo Antique & Merchandise Malls in Volo. 15% off most items. Holiday treats and gift card drawings daily. ... Santa arrives by fire truck. Then help Santa light up the trees that have transformed...Read more

Extra officers to join Nashua Holiday Stroll
The Union Leader, November 26th

Santa Claus will join the mayor in an antique fire truck to lead the procession from Nashua City Hall to the Hunt Memorial Building, where the city's Christmas tree will be lit. The procession, also led by the Spartans Drum and Bugle Corp, will begin...Read more

Christmas season kicks off tonight
The Republic, November 26th

Classic cars, an antique fire truck and even horses will wind their way through downtown Columbus until they reach their final destination at Fifth and Brown Streets, just past Hotel Indigo. While local children will be scrambling to catch all the...Read more

Philomath's Christmas tree to light up community on Dec. 1
Corvallis Gazette Times, November 26th

Santa Claus plans to arrive with the help of Philomath Fire & Rescue, making his entrance on the fire department's 1929 antique fire truck. He'll be accompanied by Philomath Frolic and Rodeo queen Rachel Cihak. Besides the museum and the chamber, ...Read more

Tree lightings and holiday celebrations, listed by suburb
Chicago Daily Herald, November 26th

Santa arrives on a fire truck and visits each subdivision in the village. Glen Ellyn Holiday Walk: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. ... Antique cars, floats, bands. Tree lighting afterward in Lehmann Park. Santa will be at the train station...Read more

Christmas & Holiday event listings 2015
Salisbury Post, November 25th

Tickets at Santa & the Grinch antique fire truck rides — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12: Ride antique fire trucks around downtown. Hot cocoa or coffee, cookies and make holiday decorations.Free rides depart from Visitors ...Read more

Antioch council earmarks one-time funds for habitat conservation plan
Contra Costa Times, November 25th

they contribute to the fund, eventually recovering the $299,377 it paid for the plan. $20,000 toward the restoration of an antique fire truck the city gave the Antioch Historical Society. $500 toward the cost of hosting delegates from Antioch's...Read more