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

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 (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, 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