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

Museum To Highlight YFD History
Yankton Daily Press, March 27th

“Off and on throughout the years, we've been talking about a home for our two antique trucks,” Nickles said. “Originally it ... Nickles added the museum will also make provisions to display a piece of firefighting memorabilia from outside of Yankton...Read more

Statue to be unveiled in honor of Campbellsville fire captain
WLKY Louisville, March 27th

The fire truck bucket got too close to high-voltage power lines. Tony Grider was shocked and died one month later. "You think ... It sits in a big glass case filled with photos, articles, and other memorabilia. Shofner spent the past six months...Read more

Spring festivals have sprung in and around Modesto
Modesto Bee, March 27th

May 9: Waterford celebrates history with antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts vendors, antique engines and motors, food and drinks. Bands play on stage, kids zone with train. Parade 10 a.m.; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Downtown Waterford. Free. (209) 874-1028...Read more

MY RIDE GARAGE: Antique fire trucks are this hit of the parades
Times Herald-Record, March 24th

Antique fire trucks always impress as they ride the parade route. The New Hampton Fire Company purchased and restored their own parade truck and one of the members even has a fire truck of his own, today on My Ride Garage. Posted Mar. 24, 2015 at ...Read more

A Remember When update: Antique fire truck
The Sun Chronicle, March 19th

Cindy (Wellman) Ficicchy of Wareham, formerly of Attleboro, wrote to let us know she is one of the children pictured in last week's Remember When photo, right. She said she's on the far right, her sister Marilyn is on the far left and her sister Ellen...Read more

Evitt family donates $2315 towards restoration of LaFayette's first fire truck
Northwest Georgia News, March 18th

5534 has survived its time since its retirement tucked away at the LaFayette Fire Department. The city of LaFayette has a “Go Fund Me” campaign at www.gofundme.com/lafayettefiretruck to raise $10,000 to restore the antique fire truck. (Messenger photo...Read more

Family of man killed by antique truck sues driver, city of Bangor
Press Herald, March 5th

The family of a Holden man who was killed by an antique fire truck in the 2013 July 4 parade is suing the driver of the truck, the city of Bangor and the civic group that organized that year's parade. Wallace Fenlason, 63, was driving an antique...Read more

5K to benefit efforts to restore antique fire truck
WBTV, March 4th

The Salisbury Fire Department, in coordination with the Salisbury Rowan Runners, will host the 7th annual St. Patrick's Day 5k next Saturday, March 14 at 9:00 a.m. at the J.F. Hurley YMCA. The race will also serve as the 2015 Road Runners Club of...Read more