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    

Chevrolet : Other Pickups Base 1955 Chevrolet Fire Truck Pumper Excellent ConditionDodge : Other Pickups 300 1974 Dodge W 300 Power Wagon Fire Rescue Truck1983 Ford 8000 General Saftey Fire TruckAntique Pair 19c Devoursney Fire Truck Coach Lantern Lamp Oceana I Etched GlassLarge 22" Rare 1920's Antique Kenton Toys Old Cast Iron Childs Fire Ladder TruckA 1926 Keystone Fire TruckAthearn Ho Lot Fire Trucks Detroit Telesquirt Ladder, Fpd Mack B Rescue & PumperAntique Fire Fighter Fire Truck Federal Signal Q2b Siren 12 Volts1920's Cast Iron Fire Engine Pumper Truck By The Hubley Manufacturing CompanyHuge Vintage Pressed Steel Ride On Marx V.f.d. Fire TruckFord F-800 Fire Truck Water Tanker Pumper 1-owner Fleet Nice Clean V-8 Gas Used 1940's~structo~fire Dept. Truck~s.f.d. Pumper~pressed Steel Vintage Toy Truck~1947 - 1956 American Lafrance Foamite Fire Engine Truck Hood Ornament Emblem Toy Stamp & 1950s Tonka Fire Pumper Truck Nice Clean ConditionCode 3 Diamond Plate #3 Philadelphia Alf Squrt 12984 3# 57 Fire Truck 11" Long Nice Vintage Pressed Steel Buddy L International Fire Ladder Truck Extra LadderVintage Police Beacon Whelen Senior Deputy Rotating Light Fire Engine 2 Brass Dietz Fireman Lanterns Fire Engine Fire KingsVintage 1950's Tonka Toys Jeep Fire Truck BeautifulMars Commander 10inch Siren 12 Volt Firefighter Siren Fire Truck Ambulance Nice!Vintage Federal Sign & Signal Fire Truck , Police, Ambulance Working SirenLtd Toy Stamp & 1960's Tonka Fire Pumper Jeep In Great ConditionCode 3 Chicago Fire Department Ward Lafrance Engine 17 Backdraft1981 Chevrolet C70 Fire Truck (beautiful Truck )1970 Vintage Hess Fire Engine Truck Toy Mint In Box Louis Marx W/ Papers Works!Vintage Beacon Ray Model 17, 12 Volt Fire Truck, Police Car 12v Light Rat RodVintage Fire Engine Mars Light "the Light From Mars" Model 888z Works Great!!Vintage 1950's Marx Lumar Vfd #9 Hook And Ladder Fire Truck Pressed Steel1950s Structo Pressed Steel Fire Department Pumper Truck #662 W Hydrant Boxed!Ltd Toy Stamp & 1950s Tonka Fire Pumper Truck Excellent Condition1975 Mack Cf / 3d Fire Truck Engine Antique ApparatusVintage Emergency Light, Police, Ambulance, Fire Truck.Smith Miller Ariel Ladder Fire Truck (b-mac 1954)Doepke Rossmoyne Lafrance Pumper Fire TruckWhite 3000 Bruco Pumper Fire Truck Ivers Engineering 1:87 Ho Scale Diecast Kit1905 Antique Cast Iron Steam Pumper Fire Truck Wagon Man & Horses Kingsbury ToySmith Miller Fire Truck 1950's No 3 Mack Cab W/ Ladder Trailer Bonus Truck Frame1970 Hess Fire TruckDoepke Rossmoyne Fire TruckCode 3 - Clark County Nevada E-one 1/64 Die Cast Fire Engine Number 12342Model Trailways Ms6006 Allerton Steam Fire Pumper Kit,1:12 Scale New - 102 JgTurner Toys Mack Cab Hook & Ladder Fire Truck 30's V Rare Nice 100% OriginalLtd Toy Stamp & Vintage 60's Tonka Fire Truck For Parts / RestorationDoepke Rossmoyne Lafrance Pumper Fire TruckFranklin Mint Pierce Snorkel No 1 Fire Truck 1/32 Scale Superior4 Parts Hess Toy Trucks 2 1967-68 Tnkrs 1970-71 Fire Truck 1975-76 Barrel Truck Code 3 1/64 Squad 51 Emergency Dodge Roy & Johnny Fire Truck Los Angeles County Ltd Toy Stamp & 1960's Beautiful Near Mint Buddy L Extension Ladder Fire TruckCode 3 Emergency! Squad 51 1965 Crown Firecoach Fire Truck Die-cast 1/64Exc Cond Genuine Lego Duplo Huge Bulk Lot Fire Engine,truck,lots Of Blocks++1880s Ives Cast Iron Horse Drawn Fire Ladder Truck Wagon Toy W/ Sprinting HorsesCode 3 Ladder Truck 1:64 Scale Die-cast Limited Edition Castle Fire Dept Pierce Vintage 1930s Tootsie Toy Mack Fire Truck Pumper Firetruck All Original Nice!1979 Ford Fire Engine/pumper TruckDte Ten Pack Matchbox Superfast Fao Schwarz Exclusive German Fire Truck, PoliceMatchbox Police Fire Ems Rescue Real Working Rigs Comms Truck Custom KitbashVintage Fire Truck Spot Light - American Lafrance - 1920s EraLot Lego 5601 Duplo Fire Station & 4977 Fire Truck & Fighters Light & Sounds EucVintage No Smoking Metal Sign Cedarburg Mutual Fire Insurance Co Sign Fire TruckK.toys Japan Tin Super Fire Engine Friction 60s Top Condition

Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

Guide to upcoming entertainment This week in Wilkes
Wilkes Journal Patriot, July 3rd

Clogging and singing performances, hayrides, slides, train rides and a fire truck parade. Racecars and antique cars will also be on display at ABTCO Road, Roaring River. Food will be served and other events will begin at 3 p.m. and a fireworks display...Read more

Rochester firefighters move into new station
Post-Bulletin, July 3rd

A roll-up door leading off the garage and visible from the front door is planned to house a small museum with department memorabilia, including a historic fire truck. Kitchen and dorms. A large kitchen area with a mix of residential and commercial...Read more

4th of July Listings for Eastern Massachusetts
Wicked Local Canton, July 3rd

DANVERS FAMILY FESTIVAL — June 6 through July 5. Parades, strawberry festival, concerts, art shows and much more. Information: http://www.danversfamilyfestival.com/. AMESBURY DAYS — June 25-July 4. Classic car show, Strawberry Festival, ...Read more

July 4 fun abounds in the Verde Valley
Verde Independent, July 2nd

From 7:30 a.m., the Clarkdale Fire District will offer free fire truck rides on the antique Parade Fire Truck and the Clark Memorial Library Ice Cream Social will open so you can top your pancakes off with a scoop of ice cream. The Ice Cream Social...Read more

Firefighters settling in at Bettendorf's downtown station
Quad City Times, July 1st

During the move-in, firefighters made sure to decorate the interior of the station with classic memorabilia, including old firefighting coats, equipment and a showcased banner that Regalia Manufacturing Co. of Rock Island created for the city's...Read more

Georgetown show puts firefighting history on display
Delmarva Daily Times, July 1st

And many of them will bring the vintage equipment to display in Georgetown Saturday, July 11. The antique fire truck show, sponsored by the Georgetown Historical Society, will be at the Marvel Carriage Museum. While many Sussex County communities will ...Read more

Palo Alto: Claim filed over collision involving antique fire truck
Inside Bay Area, June 14th

PALO ALTO -- The city has rejected a claim filed by a Campbell woman who says she shouldn't be held financially responsible for replacing a street sign and repairing an antique fire truck that were damaged during an event last fall to raise money for a ...Read more

Antique fire trucks and more at Mercer Museum event
Allentown Morning Call, June 6th

Hand-drawn, horse-drawn and motorized firefighting apparatus will be on display as part of Firefighting Day and Antique Equipment Muster 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 7 outdoors at the Doylestown's Mercer Museum. This free event will feature antique...Read more