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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Guide to upcoming entertainment This week in Wilkes
Wilkes Journal Patriot, July 3rd

Clogging and singing performances, hayrides, slides, train rides and a fire truck parade. Racecars and antique cars will also be on display at ABTCO Road, Roaring River. Food will be served and other events will begin at 3 p.m. and a fireworks display...Read more

Rochester firefighters move into new station
Post-Bulletin, July 3rd

A roll-up door leading off the garage and visible from the front door is planned to house a small museum with department memorabilia, including a historic fire truck. Kitchen and dorms. A large kitchen area with a mix of residential and commercial...Read more

4th of July Listings for Eastern Massachusetts
Wicked Local Canton, July 3rd

DANVERS FAMILY FESTIVAL — June 6 through July 5. Parades, strawberry festival, concerts, art shows and much more. Information: AMESBURY DAYS — June 25-July 4. Classic car show, Strawberry Festival, ...Read more

July 4 fun abounds in the Verde Valley
Verde Independent, July 2nd

From 7:30 a.m., the Clarkdale Fire District will offer free fire truck rides on the antique Parade Fire Truck and the Clark Memorial Library Ice Cream Social will open so you can top your pancakes off with a scoop of ice cream. The Ice Cream Social...Read more

Firefighters settling in at Bettendorf's downtown station
Quad City Times, July 1st

During the move-in, firefighters made sure to decorate the interior of the station with classic memorabilia, including old firefighting coats, equipment and a showcased banner that Regalia Manufacturing Co. of Rock Island created for the city's...Read more

Georgetown show puts firefighting history on display
Delmarva Daily Times, July 1st

And many of them will bring the vintage equipment to display in Georgetown Saturday, July 11. The antique fire truck show, sponsored by the Georgetown Historical Society, will be at the Marvel Carriage Museum. While many Sussex County communities will ...Read more

Palo Alto: Claim filed over collision involving antique fire truck
Inside Bay Area, June 14th

PALO ALTO -- The city has rejected a claim filed by a Campbell woman who says she shouldn't be held financially responsible for replacing a street sign and repairing an antique fire truck that were damaged during an event last fall to raise money for a ...Read more

Antique fire trucks and more at Mercer Museum event
Allentown Morning Call, June 6th

Hand-drawn, horse-drawn and motorized firefighting apparatus will be on display as part of Firefighting Day and Antique Equipment Muster 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 7 outdoors at the Doylestown's Mercer Museum. This free event will feature antique...Read more