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

Campaigns get creative transporting candidates across state
Edmond Sun, September 17th

Unlike a typical game though there are few rules when it comes to moving a candidate across 68,594 square miles of Oklahoma territory in search of the ultimate victory — claiming the majority of the state's nearly 2 million registered voters at the...Read more

Crews battle California fire's explosive growth
Lynchburg News and Advance, September 17th

It's much more endearing to me." Fire crews took advantage of calmer winds and firefighting aircraft Tuesday, gaining control in and around Weed. But flames still threatened other parts of California. In Oakhurst, a foothill community south of Yosemite...Read more

Officials: Wildfire destroyed about 110 homes
Daily News - Galveston County, September 17th

In this Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 photo, vehicles and homes are destroyed in Weed, Calif. where a wind-driven wildfire raced through the hillside neighborhood and forced more than 1,000 people to flee the small town near the Oregon border. The fast-moving ...Read more

Officials: Wildfire destroyed, damaged 200 homes
Fairfield Citizen, September 17th

An antique car sits among the ruins of a burned out garage that was destroyed by a fire in Weed, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. .... Fire crews took advantage of calmer winds and firefighting aircraft Tuesday, gaining control in and around Weed. But...Read more

Fitzgerald: Numerous museums in works to preserve city's history
Stockton Record, September 17th

The society is seeking temporary housing for its trove of photographs, firefighting artifacts and a couple antique steam pumpers from the early 1900s. Then, Hellige said, “One of our goals is finding a permanent place where we can house all of our...Read more

'American Pickers' star Fritz to be in Paxton Sept. 27
Rantoul Press, September 16th

Paxton antique dealer Robin McNish poses with one of 50 posters that she had printed to promote Workshop Hero Day, an event that will feature a day-long appearance by “American Pickers” star Frank Fritz in Paxton. Behind McNish is a 1970s Air Stream...Read more

Antique fire truck used to give last rides to fallen Michigan firefighters ...
Bay City Times, September 10th

BAY CITY, MI — For long-time Bay Area businessman James "Jimmie" Dobson, his legacy comes in the form of a pristine antique fire truck now used to transport fallen firefighters from Michigan and Ontario to their final resting place. Dobson, 85...Read more

Firefighting Memorabilia On The Block
BlackburnNews.com, September 5th

Long-time firefighter and former Point Edward Chief Ron Sparling has been collecting firefighting memorabilia since he started out with the Forest Volunteers in 1972. Now he's putting the entire collection, over 400 pieces, on the block. Everything...Read more