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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Burlington County and Beyond Calendar for April 24 - April 30
Burlington County Times, April 23rd

Three stages of live music, an antique and classic auto show and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle display are part of the day. Several food courts are available in addition to the ... On exhibit is an authentic 1925 Model T fire truck. Carriage House...Read more

time out briefs
Salisbury Post, April 23rd

The day will include free pork barbecue with the fixings (while supplies last), equipment demonstrations, fire truck photo op for kids, family fun and games. Northgate Church is located at 1255 W. Ridge Road. Call 704-633-7063 for more information...Read more

Sag Harbor Planning Board Revisits Outdoor Dining at Page Restaurant
The Sag Harbor Express, April 23rd

The company, a non-profit connected to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Fire Department, hopes to construct a barn on the property to serve as an antique fire truck museum. On Tuesday, Mr. Warren said the only information he would like to see confirmed by the ...Read more

Alexandria-Arlington community events, April 24 to May 1, 2014
Washington Post, April 23rd

Arlington Kiwanis pancake breakfast also features an antique car show, a moon bounce, raffles and face painting to benefit Eliminate, a project of Kiwanis International. 8 a.m.-noon ... Learn about volunteer firefighting in early Alexandria. 1-2:30 p.m...Read more

Sorting old letters
Flathead Publishing Group, April 23rd

In the course of sorting personal memorabilia so my family doesn't have to do that after I kick the bucket, I've found several boxes of correspondence from friends and foes alike. One box is stuff from my 70th birthday party held at the Outlaw Inn...Read more

Stop and look: GV group checks out Nogales, Ariz.
Green Valley News, April 23rd

The Green Valley group started with lunch at Las Vigas Steak Ranch on West Loma Street, where pride was on display in its "out West" décor, historic photographs, sports memorabilia, 8x10 snapshot of a visit from US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and prints...Read more

Longtime Home Township fire chief retiring
Greenville Daily News, April 22nd

He plans on using his new downtime from firefighting to spend more time with his family, including his wife, Carol, as well as more recreational activities, such as restoring antique farm tractors. Linton said his only regret as fire chief is not being...Read more

Fifth annual Wildfire Safety Expo to be held May 3
Lake County News, April 22nd

Firefighting demonstrations will be conducted, and present-day and antique fire equipment will be on display. “This event is for Lake County residents and will provide 'one stop shopping' for homeowners to take responsibility for their own safety and ...Read more