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    

Sturditoy Pumper Chemical Fire Truck 1920's Buddy L Keystone Very Rare!Jeep M715 4x4 Fire Truck Kaiser 18k Miles Wildland Brush Rock Crawler PumperFord : Bronco Bronco 1966 Ford Bronco True Fire Truck Very Rare Eyebrow GrilleVintage Antique Buddy L Riding Fire Truck 1940sHuge Turner Toys Vintage Steel Toy Fire TruckNo Reserve! E One Federal Fire Truck Rescue Water Emergency Loaded Custom ExportAhrens Fox Fire Engine Nose Radiator Badge Emblem Logo Mascot Ornament1970 Christmas Marx Amerada Hess Toy Fire Truck Mint In Original Box W/ InsertsOther Makes : International Fire Truck Train 2 Door Fire Truck TrainCs Engines 0.8cc .049 Glow Fire Engine 1/2a Racing FreeflightRed Vintage 1920s Buddy L Cfd Aerial Ladder Fire Truck Pressed Steel Toy Truck1918 Boyce American Lafrance € Rare Pressed Steel Turner Fire Truck Rust Free Nice Condition All Original 16 "Vtg Antique Cast Aluminum Siren Fire Engine Hot Rat Rod Old Car Truck SpeedsterAntique 1927 Keystone Water Tower Fire Truck - Steel Toy Great ConditionTonka Arial Ladder Fire Truck M.f.d. 1954-55 Rare! Nice!Vintage 1950's Tonka Fire Truck Pumper No.5 W/hydrantLtd Toy Stamp & Vintage 1950s Tonka No 5 Suburban Pumper Fire Truck Complete 16"Vintage Structo Pressed Steel # 708 Fire Pumper Truck Original Box1960's Tonka Rare White Suburban Pumper Fire Truck Pressed Steel Early Turner Toys Ford Fire Ladder Truck 20's V Rare 100% Original Restore?2015 Matchbox Toy Fair Fire TruckVintage Pressed Steel Buddy L Wind Up Siren Fire Engine Semi TruckCode 3 1/64 Scale Tower 33 Ladder Kentland Volunteers Fire Truck Ltd. EditionTonka Ford Hydraulic Aerial Ladder Fire Tt Truck V Rare Mint 60's 100% OriginalVtg Matchbox Lesney 12 Cars #53 Ford Zodiac Mk Iv #57 Land Rover Fire Truck+ Nib1950's Doepke Rossmoyne American Lafrance Ladder Fire Truck NrSffd San Francisco Fire Department Engine 15 Fireman Firefighter Helmet FrontNos Vtg Antique Heat Heater Dash Switch Old Car Truck Hot Rat Rod Scta ArklessAntique Vtg Smith Miller Smitty Toys Red Mack Fire Truck No.3 Pressed SteelVintage Marx Sit N Ride On Fire Truck Toy Riding Not Buddy L Pressed Steel OldCode 3 1/64 Scale Ladder 23 Boston Fire Dept.fire Truck Ltd. Edition From 2004Vintage 15" Hook And Ladder Fire Engine-distler, GermanyVintage Tonka Toy Fire Truck - With Ladder & Working HoseHuge Playmobil Playmobile Fire Engine Ladder Truck Rescue Pumper Firefigher LotVintage "light From Mars" 888 Fire Engine Emergency Light No Reserve No Res6 Volt Nos Vtg Antique Red Fog Emergency Driving Lights Fire Engine Truck Doepke Fire Truck Pumper Truck C.1952 Model #2010 - Fair ConditionEarly Tonka Ford Suburban Pumper Fire Truck V Rare Nice 50's 100% OriginalChristmas Santa Disney Mickey Mouse Goofy Fire Truck Inflatable Airblown YardHallmark 2013 2014 Classic Cars Mercury, Buick, Mustang, Corvette, Fire EngineVintage Dinky Toys Diecast Red Turntable Fire Escape Truck No. 956 W/ BoxVtg Antique Defroster Fan Old Car Truck Bus Wrecker Hot Rat Rod Diamond T MackTyco Us 1 Electric Trucking Mack Fire Truck And Central City Station HouseVingtage Bickle Seagrave Fire Engine Vintage Name Plate HeavyKing Seagrave Fire Engine Vintage Name PlateHahn Fire Truck Emblem Sffd San Francisco Fire Department Truck 6 Fireman Firefighter Helmet FrontRt Franklin Mint B11xr57 Mack Ch Fire Truck Hose Co. #3 Tanker Tt 1/431960s Pirsch Fire Truck Grille Emblem,nos,original,15" Wide,perfect,over 10lbsModel Toys Doepke Rossmoyne American Lafrance Ladder Fire Truck Vintage 1958 Tonka Suburban Pumper Fire Truck #46 With BoxFwd Emblem Name Plate Fire Engine Or Regular Truck. Collectable Parts Vintage Motorola Cb Radio,police,fire Engine,adam 12,1956,starsky & HutchVtg Antique Allstate 2020 Art Deco Fog Lights Hot Rat Rod Scta Gasser Old Car Doepke Fire Truck Ladder Truck C.1950 Model #2008 Excellent Condition - RareCode 3 Collectables: 2002 Chicago 1/64 Fire Engine, Unused, Estate ItemVintage 1950's Tonka No. 5 Fire Truck Italeri 1:24 La Fire Department Recovery Truck Ita3784Code 3 Fire Emergency! Tv Show Engine 51 Ward Lafrance Pumper

Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

Rosecrance Florian Program Helps Fire Service with Addiction and Mental ...
FireEngineering.com, December 20th

Florian clients have their own coed 1,800-square-foot, eight-bed unit that was recently repainted and remodeled to include firefighter memorabilia. Staff such as Dr. Garcia, .... Because as in firefighting, in treatment, time can be of the essence. And...Read more

Santa, firefighters team up to feed hungry families
KXLY Spokane, December 19th

They maintain and decorated the antique engine all on their personal time. “It takes me probably around 40 hours to put all the lights on the fire truck, and we have lots of talented guys who have welded on things so that the reindeer float out front...Read more

Santa Drives Fire Truck To Donate Hundreds Of Toys To Stamford Children
ShorelinePlus.com, December 19th

On Saturday, December 20 at 1:30pm, members of the Stamford Professional Fire Fighters Association (SPFFA) will depart from the Drill Field at 148 Magee Avenue on an antique fire truck driven by Santa to deliver toys to children across Stamford...Read more

Thanks for supporting parade
Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, December 18th

Thank you to the Beaver Dam community for lining the parade route at the Holiday Parade Dec. 6. Thank you, also, to the parade entrants who did such a fantastic job of decorating your entries to the theme of “Let It Snow.” The committee thanks the...Read more

Wolfforth plans to make Christmas parade, celebration an annual event
LubbockOnline.com, December 17th

Young girls who walked beside the city's antique fire truck in the parade said they got the gig through some weird circumstances. “I ate too many snickerdoodles and all of the sudden, I shrunk two sizes and I became an elf. And I got pointy ears. And...Read more

Fits, starts of growth and change marked year
ThisWeekNews, December 17th

Buy This Photo THISWEEKNEWS FILE PHOTO State Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and Claus von Zychlin, president and CEO of the Mount Carmel Health System, cut the ribbon with an assemblage of VIPs to open the new Mount Carmel Grove City ...Read more

'Santa Run' Brings Joy to Vienna Neighborhoods
Virginia Connection Newspapers, December 16th

#When Santa Claus cruises through Vienna-area neighborhoods on an antique fire truck, siren and holiday music blaring through loudspeakers, when North Pole elves dress up as Vienna Volunteer Fire Department [VVFD] EMTs handing out candy canes ...Read more

His grandfather's fire truck
ECM Post Review, December 11th

Kirvida will be adding the 1937 antique fire truck to a collection that consists of vehicles that he and his father built. As for his plans for the keepsake, “I'm going to try and restore it to its original condition,” he said. “And I encourage Rush...Read more