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

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Events Listings: Aug. 22 to 28, 2014
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, August 21st

Dallas Harvest Festival, the annual street fair commemorating “The Year of the Family” with a Generation-to-Generation Photo Contest, a Flower Display competition, stage performances, farmers market, Children's Corner, antique fire-truck rides and a...Read more

Boy with cancer gets special day in Lee's Summit
KMBC Kansas City, August 21st

The Lee's Summit police and fire departments teamed up to give him a life-sized experience. Brayden got up-close looks at police motorcycles and even went for a ride in an antique fire truck. He also received a police badge and got to spray a fire hose...Read more

Greater Salem Calendar of Events
Wicked Local Salem, August 21st

How to share your event. Want to see your event listed in "Around the Region"? Here's how: 1 Visit our website homepage and scroll down to the "Events Calendar" box. 2 Click on "Add Event." 3 Register or, if you've visited before, log in. Then click on...Read more

Old Tyme Summer Festival set for Sunday in Elmira's Brand Park
Corning Leader, August 21st

There will be a classic car show from noon-3 p.m., and antique appraisals by Michael Watts of Antique Revival. Children's activities will include fire truck rides, inflatables and slides, face painting, and visits by Dora the Explorer, Spongebob...Read more

Antique Fire Engine Muster and Open House in Kingston on Aug. 23
Kingston Daily Freeman, August 19th

Located at 265 Fair St., the museum features two antique fire engines, an 1845 hand pumper, two parade carriages and a large collection of firemanic memorabilia. It will be hosting the muster and open house. Last year's muster attracted 23 new, antique...Read more

Utica Craftsman Restores Antique Fire Truck to Former Glory
TWC News, August 11th

A 1949 Utica fire truck has been restored to its former glory and was returned to the city Monday. The 700 Series America LaFrance pumper was used in the city for nearly 40 years. The old truck was going to be taken apart and used for scrap, but in...Read more

Antique fire truck returns home to St. Charles Fire Department
KTTC, August 4th

The same fire truck was used back in the 1960s to promote the fire department as it was raising money for a new fire hall. That hall stands today and ironically enough the truck has returned as the department seeks funds for the next new fire hall...Read more

Antique fire truck shines again
Sedalia News-Journal, July 24th

The West Central Missouri Vintage Auto Club has restored a 1929 Ford Fire Truck that was last used in the 1960s. The sparkling-clean historical vehicle was on display Wednesday at the Missouri State Fair's Fire House. and will also be on display during...Read more