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

Old House has a future on Raeford-Hoke Museum grounds
Fayetteville Observer, January 24th

The five-acre museum grounds has a building housing a 1921 fire truck and other emergency equipment, a building with antique dolls, a one-room schoolhouse and a country store. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. The museum is open ...Read more

Chamber installs directors, honors citizen of the year
The Record Gazette, January 23rd

She also remembers two years ago when Hammer gave fire truck rides to her daughter Hannah and 12 of her friends. “It just made their whole night exciting ... Hammer asked Menefee if she could insure an antique fire engine. Menefee said yes. Her company ...Read more

Longtime Manhasset-Lakeville firefighter Boesch dies at 86
The Island Now, January 22nd

Boesch and Susie raised three children out of their Westminster Road home in Great Neck, where they lived for more than 50 years, during which time the family became staples of firefighting in the community. Boesch's two sons, John Jr. and Alfred, went...Read more

Extended 2015 Kansas Day events at museum to focus on transportation
Bethel College News (press release), January 22nd

Among the vehicles on display will be a Ford Model T, a 1951 GMC grain truck, a cutter (small horse-drawn sleigh), a 1926 American LaFrance fire truck, a 1958 Oliver 770 tractor and a car restored through the McPherson College program. From 1:30-4:30 p...Read more

Restored '57 GMC truck represents a large part of OC's firefighting history
OCRegister, January 22nd

The history of Orange County's fire and rescue operations can be told many different ways, but it's on property owned but the Santa Margarita Water District that it's communicated through decades of vehicles: The first-run engines that were dispatched...Read more

'Backstrom' star Rainn Wilson takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test
Entertainment Weekly, January 22nd

by a fire truck? I literally start to sweat from places that I didn't know I had sweat glands.” 9. You investigate an arson case in an episode of Backstrom. Let's say there's a fire in your house. What piece of pop culture memorabilia do you grab...Read more

Navasota firefighter refuses to call it quits after 40 years
The Navasota Examiner, January 21st

While Wellman remained a volunteer for Old Washington, his love for firefighting soon took over and he joined Navasota's fire department in 1972. Two years later, he ... One of the first fire trucks Wellman rode in remains at the station today, as...Read more

Retired Atlantic County fire marshal keeps fire in his belly with firefighting ...
Press of Atlantic City, January 4th

He has seen firefighting change drastically, he said. He remembered writing fire calls on a giant chalkboard in Pleasantville, then ringing engine bells like the ones on display in his museum to alert companies of a fire, because they didn't have radios...Read more