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

Memorial Day Events 2015
WBAL Baltimore, May 22nd

Nationally recognized for its premier collection, the Fire Museum of Maryland exhibits 40 antique fire engines, dating from 1806, a reconstructed 1871 Firehouse and the working 1922 Telegraphic Alarm System. Founded in 1971, its collection includes...Read more

Dwindling membership endangers Portland's Cellar Savers Museum
Middletown Press, May 22nd

In fact, the Cellar Savers are part of a nationwide group of fire truck enthusiasts: SPAAMFAA, the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Fire Apparatus of America, according to information on the group's website, more

Doylestown's Mercer Museum holding Firefighting Day June 7, May 22nd

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. -- The Mercer Museum celebrates its Volunteer Firefighting exhibit with a special outdoor Firefighting Day and Antique Equipment Muster on the grounds of the museum on Sunday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. This free event features fire ...Read more

Antique, lovingly restored fire truck to debut at Memorial Day parade, May 22nd

When the restored '27 "Little Buffalo" makes its debut in the Minoa Memorial Day parade Monday, it will have special meaning for local firefighters. Minoa's very first fire engine, manufactured by The Buffalo Fire Engine Corp., was used to battle the...Read more

Fourth annual Spring Fest in Highland draws a sizable crowd (with photo gallery)
New Paltz Times, May 22nd

A parishioner loaned her impressive collection of antique fire truck toys for a display inside and church members Mary Benecke and Martha Trainor were on hand for the “cookie walk,” offering tasty homemade treats to choose from. Outside the church ...Read more

BCFPD hosts antique fire truck expo
Chicago Tribune, May 18th

"We're happy to welcome the community to our firehouse," said Captain Angela Grandgeorge, who was on hand at the first-ever Antique Fire Truck Show. Most of the parked vintage water pumper vehicles sported some range of red, be it bright reds or that ...Read more

TO SAVE OUR FELLOW CITIZENS: Philadelphia's Volunteer Firefighting history ...
Bucks Local News, May 17th

A Firefighting Day and Antique Equipment Muster will take place on Sunday, June 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and a second Firefighting Day and Modern Equipment Show is scheduled for Sunday, August 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Both events feature engines and ...Read more

Antique fire truck show coming to Lake Barrington May 16
Chicago Tribune, May 8th

Barrington-area residents will have the opportunity on Saturday, May 16 to see almost two dozen antique fire engines, tenders and other vintage firefighting equipment during the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District's first-ever antique fire...Read more