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

SLO Fire Dept. to hold open house
The San Luis Obispo Tribune, October 5th

In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, the San Luis Obispo Fire Department will hold an open house at Fire Station 1 on Saturday. The event will include antique firefighting equipment, safety presentations and snacks, and is scheduled for 10 a.m...Read more

Top of the morning, Oct. 5, 2015
Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette, October 5th

My dad's friend RALPH FAUGHT had to find other accommodations for his antique White dump truck, and my brother, DANNY; mom, LULU; and I spent a lot of after-school time rearranging the other priceless possessions in the seed house just so the fire...Read more

Bicentennial Journey features bus tours to visit historic landmarks in North ..., October 5th

Antique quilt display: As part of North Olmsted's bicentennial celebration, there will be a display of antique quilts 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11 at Frostville Museum, 24101 Cedar Point Road, North Olmsted. Olmsted Historical Society will sponsor the...Read more

Antique fire equipment restored, city waits to restore truck
Natchez Democrat, October 2nd

The fire truck, which was used by the Natchez Fire Department back in the 1940s, shows how far firefighting has come. The hope is to have it ready for the Natchez Tricentennial. (Sam Gause / Natchez Democrat) ... And while the antique fire truck is...Read more

Antique fire truck, stored for years, displayed in Tolono
Bloomington Pantagraph, September 22nd

TOLONO, Ill. (AP) — An antique fire truck once used in Tolono (tuh-LOH'-noh) is back on display after 13 years hidden in obscurity and uncertainty. Denny Davis is a 40-year Tolono volunteer firefighter who bought the red classic and placed it on...Read more

Tallmadge Historical Society dedicates new pole building for antique fire truck
Tallmadge Express, September 19th

Tallmadge -- The city of Tallmadge's 1947 Mack fire truck has a new place to call home. Members of the Tallmadge Historical Society gathered Sept. 1 for a dedication of the recently built pole building, which is located in the parking lot behind the...Read more

Antique 1933 Greenport fire truck to be dedicated back to fire department
SoutholdLOCAL, September 11th

A fire truck with a rich history will be celebrated on Sunday as it's dedicated back to the Greenport Fire Department, its original home. The road that brought the fire truck full circle was long and fraught with challenges — and the story of how a...Read more

County now owners of antique fire truck
Edson Leader, September 11th

You don't look a gift horse, or in this case, a gift fire truck in the mouth. Yellowhead County Council has taken possession of an antique fire truck at the Sept. 8 meeting from the Wildwood Fire Station Association. It comes with conditions that have...Read more