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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Halloween parade Sunday in village
New Canaan Advertiser, October 24th

New Canaan Chamber of Commerce's annual Halloween Parade takes off through the village on Sunday, Oct. 26. Ghosts, goblins, fairy princesses, super heroes and more will march from Park Street down Elm Street to Main Street and back up Elm, which ...Read more

250 attend Springville fire open house event
Journal-Eureka, October 23rd

On display were the department's four trucks. Off to the side, suggestions were sought for the fate of Ol' Bess, a retired fire truck. Options include selling the truck as an antique with a value of about $5,000 or renovating the truck at a cost of...Read more

'Spooktakular Truck or Treat' is 6 pm Friday at the Community Center
Renton Reporter, October 23rd

Girls and boys ages 10 and under begin the evening by 'Truck or Treating' from 6 - 7 p.m. at a variety of vehicles like the Stoneway Concrete Cement Mixer, The Seafair Clowns bus, an Antique Fire truck, Police Units, City of Renton's Public Works...Read more

Salem to unveil new firefighting museum
Eagle-Tribune, October 22nd

A few final tasks need to be completed, including setting up glass showcases of decades of firefighting memorabilia, according to Henry LaBranche. "We're wrapping up very quickly," LaBranche said Tuesday. LaBranche, a former school superintendent who ...Read more

Hamilton OKs new fire truck
Wicked Local Wenham, October 21st

Voters approved all articles on the warrant; the vote to purchase the new quint fire truck was unanimous. A two-thirds vote was required on Article 2-5 to purchase the truck because it involves incurring debt. The total cost is $940,000, and the quint...Read more

KHTS Fire Truck
KHTS Radio, October 14th

As a sponsor, your business shall receive banner ads on the fire truck picture web page, highlighting your event. Your page will be accessed many times as parents visit to download the free pictures of their kids who have climbed on board our firetruck...Read more

Lee Fire Co. launches $50000 campaign to restore antique fire truck
Berkshire Eagle, October 10th

Company treasurer Erin Albert said it's important to preserve Lee's historical firefighting equipment for future generations to learn from and enjoy. "My kids beg to come with me to the fire station so they can sit in a [modern-day] fire truck," she...Read more

2012 KHTS Antique Fire Truck Santa Clarita Christmas Holiday Tour
KHTS Radio, October 4th

KHTS picks up the winner, along with their family and friends, up to 16 people and drives them on a two-hour tour of the Christmas tree lights throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. For More Information about the KHTS Antique Fire Truck. 2012-12-26...Read more