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    

Simon Duplex 100' Tillered Ladder Truck Emergency Rescue Fire Engine Cat 32061920s Antique Keystone Packard Combination 49 Fire Department TruckVintage **rare** Arcade Cast Iron 16" Fire Truck Ladder 3 Firemen. Must See!1950's Tonka Toys No. 950-6suburban Pumper Fire Truck W/boxOther Makes : American Lafrance 900 Series Pumper Firetruck 1964 American Lafrance 900 Series Pumper Fire Truck Original ConditionCa1900 Cast Iron Horse Drawn Hook & Ladder Fire Wagon / Fire Engine By Hubley1996 Spartan Fire Truck Tillar Gladiator 100 Foot Ladder Truck1955 International R-170 Pumper Fire Truck1984 Kenworth Fire EngineTonka Fire Jeep Pumper # 425 Vintage 1963 Beautiful Condition. Near Mint!!Rare 1920s Vintage General Fire Truck & Fire Hose Co. Old Thermometer SignVintage Carnes & Bros Fire Fighter Civil Defense Unit 158 Safety Fire Truck Usa Antique Leather Fire Helmet - Boston Engine 3Rushmore Early Brass Carbide Searchlamp Model T Ford Speedster Fire TruckFiretruck Vintage Model 184 Federal Signal Power Lights Fire Truck1975 Mack Cf / 3d Fire Truck Engine Antique Vintage ApparatusThomas Benjamin Industrial Signal Horn Factory Fire Truck Alarm Siren Works NrVintage Beacon Ray Model 17, 12 Volt Fire Truck, Police Car 12v LightVintage Federal Junior Beacon Ray Fire Truck Police Car Flashing LightMercedes-benz : Other Fire 1982 Mercedes Benz Unimog U 1300 L Turbo Fire TruckSmith Miller Ariel Ladder Fire Truck #3 Mack 1954- Original Rare No Reserve!!!Tonka Toys 1960 No. 48 Aerial Ladder Fire Truck Outstanding Original TruckVintage Tonka Fire TruckVintage Fire Hose Nozzle Bear Lever Handle Firefighting Truck Engine HydrantVintage Advertising Marx 1970 Hess Fire Truck With Original Box Fire EngineModel Trailways Ms6006 Allerton Steam Fire Pumper Kit,1:12 Scale New - 102 JgVintage Antique (large) 1960's Fire Truck Pedal CarAntique 1948 Metal Seagrave Fire Truck Emblem / Ornament For Rear Of TruckVintage Metal Fire Dept No 26 Engine Pumper Truck Ride-on Coaster Jeep Car ToyEarly 1900s Kingsbury (keene, Nh) Pressed Steel Toy Fire Truck Frame & Parts50's Tin Friction Windup Firetruck Fire Engine Driver Original Box Yoshiya JapanDte 2 Matchbox Convoy Fire Ladder & Rescue Tractor Trailer TruckCode 3 Chicago O'hare Fire Dept Pierce Platform Ladder Truck 63 (12909)Fire Truck Vintage Federal Signal Power Lights 184 Fire TruckCode 3 Ventura County Fire Department Ladder Rescue Engine 40Vintage 1930's Hubley Cast Iron 428 Fire Steamer TruckPlaymobil Fire Truck Circus Romani Coast Guard Boat Police Lot1940's~structo~fire Dept. Truck~s.f.d. Pumper~pressed Steel Vintage Toy Truck~Custom 1/64 1957 Dodge Fire Truck Coe Code 3 M2 Erl Farm Dcp Ho/hon3 Scale Jordan Highway Miniatures 1913 Fire Truck Built UpCode 3 Backdraft Chicago Mack Cf Rear Mount Ladder Fire Truck (loose)Vintage 1970-1971 Marx Hess Gasoline Toy Fire Truck With LadderCode 3 1:64 Los Angeles Lti Tda 1999 Ladder Fire Truck 12664 W Free Shipping!Bilofix ( Lego Denmark ) Vintage 1950's Chevrolet Fire Engine Truck Ultra RareFire Truck LightAwesome Vintage Red Star Copper Brass Fire Extinguisher General Fire Truck Corp Vintage Fire Hose Nozzle Heavy Brass Firefighting Truck Engine Hydrant AntiqueTyco Us 1 Fire Truck Slot CarVintage Siren General City Service Co Detroit Fire Truck,emergency Works!!!!Ford Ls Pierce Pumper Fire Engine 1:87 Ho Scale Metal Lee Town, Alloy FormsDealer Pack 2 Dual Universal Automotive Exhaust Flame Thrower Fire Thowing KitsCode 3 Diecast Crown Fire Engine Los Angeles Pumper 60 1/64 ScaleGmc : Sierra 1500 Reg Cab 119.0" Wb Sle Reg Cab 119.0" Wb Sle 2 Dr Truck Automatic 8 Cyl Engine 74 Fire Red 11 Pewter Me1960s Doepke American La France Pressed Steel Ladder Fire Truck W/ Windup Siren Tempest Power Blower Honda 8hp Gas Engine Firefighting In Mississippi No ReserveCode 3 Collectibles Jack Daniel's Fire Brigade Freightliner Pumper**mibN Scale Athearn County Fire TruckAmt American Lafrance Pumper Fire Truck 1/25 Scale Kit Open UnbuiltCode 3 Collectibles Fdny Mt-55 Freightliner 1/32 Scale Fire Rescue Truck ReplicaAntique Police Car Fire Truck Siren Ford Chevrolet American La France Seagrave

Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

'American Pickers' looking for locals
Times Reporter, July 31st

The documentary series explores antique searching. “American Pickers” follows its two hosts, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they embark on road trips across the ... Some items being sought include vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie...Read more

West Hartford Fire Station Celebrating 100th Anniversary
Hartford Courant, July 31st

The family-friendly event will include a restored 1915 American LaFrance fire truck similar to the first truck assigned to the station, courtesy of the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department. There will also be 1914 drawings for the station by Hartford...Read more

Putin Reportedly Heading To Crimea For His Latest Annual Adventure
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, July 31st

The Russian daily says details of the expedition are being kept secret, but that it will focus on archaeological sites related to the historic Silk Road and an antique shipwreck in the Black Sea. Putin, of course, is no stranger to adventure tourism...Read more

The no-get-away get-away garden
PennLive.com (blog), July 31st

Most days, he's headed to the cottage at 4 a.m. with coffee in hand. The cottage is heated and air-conditioned and has an antique butcher-block table as a writing desk. It's the perfect place for writing and is where Dave – the new president of the...Read more

Reality TV show 'American Pickers' to film in Oregon
Mid Columbia Tri City Herald, July 30th

Some of what they look for: vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, vintage musical equipment, vintage automotive items, early firefighting equipment, vintage clothing, pre-50s western gear,” a...Read more

Duggan: Piece of firefighting history coming home
The Coloradoan, July 30th

Last weekend's auction of antique tractors and sundry other pieces of equipment at Swets Farm had an unusual participant: Poudre Fire Authority. PFA wanted to reclaim a piece of its history. On the auction block was a historic “Holabird” firetruck that...Read more

Firefighting memorabilia on display at Wyckoff library
NorthJersey.com, July 29th

Firefighting memorabilia on display at Wyckoff library. July 30, 2015 Last updated: Thursday, July 30, 2015, ... Library director Mary Witherell teamed up with members of the Wyckoff Volunteer Fire Department to showcase an antique collection of...Read more

Antique fire-truck show joins First Saturday in Georgetown
Coastal Point, July 9th

Fire-truck lovers will converge on Georgetown this weekend, as antique fire trucks will be on display at the Marvel Carriage Museum as part of the Georgetown Historical Society's First Saturday. “First Saturday started in May and runs through September...Read more