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 6400 1949 Chevrolet Fire Truck Model 6400Fire Truck1925 Reo Speedwagon Fire Truck From Athens Ga Nice Barn Find Big 6 Cyl 1967 Ford 950 Fire Truck - 534 Inch V8 Gas Engine - Runs Good1954 Dodge Mb-2 Crash, Fire And Rescue Truck *** Very Rare ***1975 International Loadstar 4x4 Fire Engine, Airport Crash Truck, Wildland FireTonka Fire TruckLtd Toy Stamp & 1940s Smith Miller Mack Fire Dept Ladder TruckLtd Toy Stamp & Vintage Tonka Fire Ladder Truck #5 Tfd Hydraulic 31" LongVintage 1950's Tonka Fire Engine Toy Truck Pumper #5 Ladder & Hose Reel NrFord : Other Fire Truck 1985 Ford 800 Fire Truck PumperEarly Tonka Ford Cab Aerial Ladder Fire Tt Truck V Rare Nice 50's 100% Original1978 Ward Lafrance 85' Tower Fire Truck, Detroit Diesel 18k MilesCast Iron "pumper" Fire Engine, 11" Rubber Tires, Hubley? Needs Work1982 Gmc Fire Truck1950's Tippco Tipp Germany Tin Friction Vw Volkswagen Fire Ladder Truck ToyLesney Matchbox Superfast Team Fire Pumper Truck 29Pola Lgb #992 Fire Station House & Tower W/diecast 1935 Mack Fire Truck, G ScaleVintage 1950's Smith Miller Pressed Steel No 3 Fire Truck For Repair RestoreFire Truck By TonkaLesney Mib Models Of Yesteryear Shand Mason Horse Drawn Fire Engine Y-41982 Fire Truck, Pumper Truck, Ford, Detroit DieselVintage 1950's Smith-miller Smitty Fire Ladder TruckVintage Rossmoyne Doepke Fire TruckAntique 1920 Structo Cfd Fire Truck W/ Ladders Metal Wheels Bell & Hose ReelAntique Fire Truck Carnival Ride Pinto Bros Coney Island, Ny Amusement Park1910 Tacoma Washington Yardlong Frame Fire Department Chemical Fire Engine PhotoLot Of 3 Vintage Hubley Cast Iron Fire Truck Arcade Tow Steak Truck Parts RepairVintage Siren / Red Light From Air Force O-11a Crash Fire Truck 24 Dc Military30's 40's 50's 60's Vintage Federal Old Police Fire Truck Chevy Ford SirenVintage Federal Sign And Signal Fire Truck SirenCode 3 Collectibles #12129 American Lafrance Fire Engine 306 Yonkers NyFord : Expedition Xlt 2000 Ford Expedition Xlt 4 X 4 Fully Operational Fire Chief S Truck 122 K MilesLittle Tikes 484544 Cozy Fire Truck For Ages 1 1/2 To 5 Years Old New *Gmc E-one Arff Crash Fire Rescue Truck Foam Dry Chemical 4x4 Auto Mint Vintage Cop Car Fire Truck Siren And Red LightVintage Original 1958-59 Tonka Ford Pumper No.5 Fire Truck Lego City Lot 7239 Fire Truck 4200 Mining 4x4 3179 Utility Truck 3 Sets 100% ComHubley Fire TruckAntique Vintage Dietz Fire Truck Engine Fireman Spotlight Light Fixture LampFire Truck Vintage Whelen Roto-beam Rotators Fire TruckAntique Vintage Hand Made Brass Fire Truck Navy Trench Art Amazing DetailModel Toys Doepke Rossmoyne American Lafrance Ladder Fire Truck & Rare Booklet1953 Fire Truck1970 Hess Fire Truck, Antique, Vintage, Collectible, MarxVintage 1950's Smith Miller Die-cast Mack Smfd No. 3 Fire Truck Aerial Ladder Code 3 Fdny Set Of 2 Mets Fire Engine Ladder 1:64 Scale Diecast ModelMatchbox 1/24 Ford F-450/ Kme Fire Engine Truck Middletown 20-21968 International R185 Fire Truck ( Look International Fire Truck Collectors )Cast Iron Fire Truck Driver Figure W/steering Wheel-original-3" Very, Very NiceEarly 1960 Tonka Toys Ford Fire Ladder Tt Truck - Cab Only V Rare 100% OriginalCorgi - Seagrave Anniversary Pumper Heros Under Fire Limited Edition 1:50 Sm 81dCode 3 Boston Fire Department E-one Rearmount 100' Ladder Truck # 12960 1/64thRt Franklin Mint B11xr57 Mack Ch Fire Truck Hose Co. #3 Tanker Tt 1/43Vintage Buddy L Pressed Steel Fire Truck With Extension Ladder (50-60's)Vintage Dictator Fire Truck Siren C.a.m. Co. John Bean Fire Truck Emblem Collectible Diecast Old Mack L Model 1 Allentown, Pa Fire Truck 2004 First GearFire Truck Engine Play Tent Red Playtent House Indoor Playhouse Toysbro Kids KidVintage, Obsolete Dietz Fire Truck Light, Model # 211 (new Lens)

Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

13 INVESTIGATES: Flying on the public dime
Alabama', October 20th

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard turned himself in to the Lee County Jail this afternoon after being indicted on 23 felony ethics violations. Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard turned himself in to the Lee County Jail this afternoon after being...Read more

Hamilton Town Meeting set for Oct. 20
Wicked Local Wenham, October 20th

The articles to be voted on at the Special Town Meeting deal with amending the bylaws for the Council on Aging and providing funds in three areas: a new fire truck, salaries of town employees and several improvement projects. Selectmen ... The CPC is...Read more

Zebulon Night Out gets its point across
Eastern Wake News, October 17th

The Zebulon Fire Department offered free rides on its antique fire truck at Zebulon Night Out at the Zebulon Community Center in Zebulon, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. AARON MOODY — |Buy Photo ...Read more

Top 5 things to do this weekend, October 16th

There will be free ice cream and fire truck rides over both bridges. Corn pickin' in Walnut. WALNUT – The 2014 Cornpicker Reunion is ... There will be antique tractors and equipment on display. YouTube sensations The Peterson Farm Bros. will play their...Read more

'Touch-A-Truck Day' held at Deer Path Park in Readington Township, Nov. 1
Hunterdon County Democrat, October 15th

Children love to man the antique fire truck's hose and see if they can hit the target. No registration is necessary for Touch-a-Truck — just show up. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled; call 908-782-PARK for the message...Read more

Hanceville's First Fire Truck Returns Home
CullmanSense, October 15th

If you love antique cars and trucks and you'd like to come take a ride in the old Hanceville fire engine and learn a little bit about the history of the city of Hanceville, come on out to the 5th Annual Mud Creek Arts & Crafts Festival on October 18...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

Antique fire truck returns to Oneida after 50 years
Oneida Dispatch, September 21st

Antique fire truck returns to Oneida after 50 years. The 1917 American LeFrance fire truck once owned by the Oneida Fire Department and recently repurchased by firefighters. JOHN HAEGER @ONEIDAPHOTO ON TWITTER/ONEIDA DAILY DISPATCH...Read more