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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Plan your weekend and beyond: Trentonian Community Calendar - April 23 ...
The Trentonian, April 24th

Get a glimpse of unique Shore events like the Asbury Park Baby Parade and the former summer homes of U.S. Presidents, through photographs, maps, artifacts, paintings, signs, advertising, souvenirs, and memorabilia. Admission: $8 per person; Museum...Read more

Lincoln County events calendar
Ruidoso News, April 24th

118 Smokey Bear Blvd., Capitan. Free fun for all ages. Arts and crafts vendors, parade, chainsaw carving auction. Pictures taken with Smokey, firefighting challenge, live music, street dance, memorabilia auction and more. Call 575-354-2748 for more...Read more

TO SAVE OUR FELLOW CITIZENS: Philadelphia's Volunteer Firefighting history ...
Bucks Local News, April 23rd

A Firefighting Day and Antique Equipment Muster will take place on Sunday, June 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and a second Firefighting Day and Modern Equipment Show is scheduled for Sunday, August 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Both events feature engines and ...Read more

Preservation Board gearing up for celebration
The Glen Rose Reporter, April 23rd

She also talked about the antique fire truck, which will serve as a shuttle service between the two celebrations. As the meeting closed, it was stressed that these details will be firmed up, and the community will be getting more information regarding...Read more

Salem truck heads to firefighting museum
The Daily News of Newburyport, April 22nd

That stranger happened to be Charlie Grab, a collector and restorer of antique firetrucks. When Grab heard about Salem retiring its forestry unit, he quickly tracked down the fire chief. “He called and said, 'We would love to have this for our museum...Read more

'American Pickers' seeking local antique owners
La Crosse Tribune, April 21st

Among antiques being sought are vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, vintage musical equipment, vintage automotive items, early firefighting equipment, vintage clothing and pre-1950s western...Read more

Barrington fire district to host antique fire truck show, blood drive
Lake County Journal, April 15th

LAKE BARRINGTON – The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) will host a combined antique fire truck show and community blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16, at Fire Station One, 22222 N. Pepper Road, Lake Barrington, according ...Read more

Fire department restores antique fire truck for parades
Times Herald-Record, April 12th

There was a back-room casual discussion about how much fun it would be to have a special fire truck to use in parades. Rob Albino, owner of Eagle Auto Body and Eclectic Cars in Middletown and president and lieutenant at the fire company, knew just...Read more