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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2014-04-16T19:15:00Z Entertainment Calendar Longview Daily News
Longview Daily News, April 16th

Castle Rock Exhibit Hall: Permanent collection of old-time logging displays, Castle Rock's 1938 fire truck, Mount St. Helens exhibits and north Cowlitz County memorabilia. Donations welcome. Winter hours 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. 47 Front...Read more

Coming up: 'Miss Julia' book-signing, egg hunt, car show
Gaston Gazette, April 16th

Ann B. Ross, author of the best-selling “Miss Julia” series will visit Fireside Books and Gifts, 212 S. Lafayette St., Shelby, at 3 p.m. Friday to discuss her new novel, “Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover.” In the new book, Miss Julia has been looking...Read more

FLORENCE: Community celebrates life of Chief Scully
Packet Online, April 16th

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

Fort Langley's farm museum has by season
Langley AdvanceNews, April 14th

Monday, May 19, is the annual May Day Parade and will feature 10 entries of antique tractors and wagons from the museum. The parade starts ... So check out the past and the present with more than 20 exhibits, including a vintage fire truck. All special...Read more

Capsule contains 2014 snapshot
Marlborough Express, April 14th

A time capsule filled with firefighting memorabilia has been hidden in the walls of Blenheim Fire Station. Blenheim chief fire officer Rob Dalton said volunteer firefighter Craig Love came up with the idea to bury a box of items related to Blenheim...Read more

BFP reminds public to be careful with candles
Philippine Information Agency, April 14th

SAN JOSE, Antique (PIA) - - The Bureau of Fire Protection is reminding the public to be careful in their use of candles especially this Holy Week because it can cause fire. SFO2 Alex L. Ortiaga , Municipal Fire Marshall of San Jose Fire Station said it...Read more

Dorman announces governor candidacy
Sapulpa Daily Herald, April 13th

Arriving on an antique fire truck provided by the Lawton fire fighters, Joe was greeted by a large number of supporters and volunteers. The opening featured a ceremonial flag raising by Oklahoma Veterans and a Native American blessing. There he also ...Read more

Council committee takes up police cruiser replacement
Lancaster Eagle Gazette, April 12th

But in the last couple of years, the leasing option was abandoned to save money, and the police department's fleet was replaced using grants, sales of antique weapons and general fund money. After the meeting, the department provided The Eagle-Gazette...Read more