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

The city whose future will outshine its past
Standard Speaker, April 20th

Byorek's Knotty Pine restaurant, famous for pork barbecues, coal candy and coal-region memorabilia, is reopening as The Pines in downtown Hazleton. The original closed in 2010 after 73 years, but owners Bernie and Susan Byorek agreed to sell ... And...Read more

Varnado Store Museum's 'Spring Fling' Street Fair is Saturday
The Daily News, April 19th

The antique fire truck will be on display, as well as exotic animals from Barn Hill Preserve, snakes and other critters from the Louisiana Herpetological Society, a pick-a-duck for a prize pool and more. In addition, there will be a “Trunk” Garage Sale...Read more

Firemen host hundreds at annual Easter egg hunt
The Desert Sun, April 19th

When the Easter Bunny emerged from a fire truck after the hunt, about five children ran in fear and panic, Moss said, the same “pretty standard” reaction he expected from his son, Owen. Owen clutched a trick-or-treat Jack-o'-lantern containing his eggs...Read more

Leaping lions awaken Bendigo's dragon
The Age, April 19th

The event is part of the Bendigo Easter Festival, where thousands wander between the Chinese attractions and Rosalind Park for face painting, games or a ride on an antique fire truck. On Saturday, there was also Eesha, a dancing, inflatable elephant...Read more

Goshen Meltdown comes to a splashy end; Chesterfield celebrates
GazetteNET, April 18th

Labrie said the annual friendly contest puled in $1,373 from tickets that sold for a $1 each, and an additional $241 came in direct contributions towards refurbishing the Goshen Fire Department's 1937 Dodge fire truck. The antique vehicle was the Fire ...Read more

Yesterday, and tomorrow: New area for kids planned at Naper Settlement
Naperville Sun, April 18th

The firehouse, to be focused on themes of fire safety and public protection, will be home to two antique implements: the Joe Naper Pumper, which was the city's first piece of firefighting equipment, purchased in 1874; and the 1924 Ahrens Fox, the city...Read more

Suit seeks to settle firefighter's $1.2M estate
Dailyrecord.com, April 17th

DeRosa said that if the $50,000 disbursement comes through, some of the money would be used to purchase equipment and help restore an antique fire truck, and some will be given back to the community in the form of student scholarships. “We miss him,” ...Read more

FLORENCE: Community celebrates life of Chief Scully
Packet Online, April 17th

Chief Scully was lifted by his fellow officers onto an antique Florence Township fire truck where he made a final ride through the town, stopping at the police department before his final resting place in Odd Fellows Mausoleum in Burlington Township...Read more