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!


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive

Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive

This incredibly comprehensive archive of LAFD ephemera and memorabilia is as good a history of 19th and 20th centur… [read review or visit site]

Fire Hydrant Collections

Fire Hydrant Collections

Don't let your dog near this site... hundreds of photos of fire hydrant collections from over 60 individual collect… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Other Makes : 1919 Reo Speedwagon Fire Truck Reo 1919 Fire Truck No Reserve AuctionVintage Federal Sign & Signal Beacon Ray "gumball" Fire Truck Model 17 Light 174Sterling Siren Fire Truck Police Alarm Federal Sirenlite Model Volt 20 30 12 6 Heavy Rescue Fire Truck Ford Work Truck No ReserveVintage 1963 Tonka Aerial Ladder Fire Truck T.f.d. W/ Box - 100% Original - EucGarton 1940's Pedal Fire TruckCairns Leather Fire Helmet Milton Pa Steamer Truck Miltonian FiremanVintage Early 1900's Hubley Kenton Cast Iron Toy Horsedrawn Fire Pumper WagonVintage 1903 Clark Dayton Friction Pressed Steel & Wood Toy Fire Pumper TruckVintage Pressed Steel "buddy L" Large Hook & Ladder Fire TruckHess 1970 Marx Amerada Hess Toy Fire Truck In Box W/ All InsertsVtg Antique Stewart Vacuum Tank Fuel Pump Old Car Truck Chevy Buick Pontiac Reo 2000 Pierce Dash Lance Fire Truck Detroit Series 60 13k Hours $570,000 NewLtd Toy Stamp & Smith Miller Fire Truck Cab Frame & Seat Parts Lot#c10Chevrolet : Other Pickups 1986 Chevy C 30 Brush Fire Truck 13 K Miles 4 X 4 Hale Hpx 200 Pump W 325 Gal TankAntique Kingsbury Keene Nh Fire Truck Pump Pressed Steel Engine Toy W/fireman1960's Structo Ford Ladder Fire Engine Toy Truck Metal Antique Hook Ladder NeatVintage Pressed Steel "tonka" Hook & Ladder Fire TruckVintage Turn Signal Lights - Dietz 250 Signal Stat Cab Arrow Marker Yankee GuideHess Fire Truck From 1970-1971 With BoxVintage 1933 Structo Fire Pumper Truck With Ladders - 22" LongAmerican La France Badge - Fire Truck Emblem Antique Name Plate Trim Sign Antique Pressed Tin Fire Ladder Truck Little Jim Playthings Dayton? 20 1/4 Inch1920s Turner Pressed Steel Ahrens Fox Fire TruckEarly Tonka Ford Cab Aerial Ladder Fire Tt Truck V Rare Mint 50's 100% OriginalVintage Signal Stat Arrow Turn Signal Lights & Hollywood / Yankee License Plate 12v Hannay Hose Reel Lawn Care Water Oil Gas Fuel Pump Air Booster Sprayer CableHuge Junk Drawer Lot Men's Vintage Flea Market Stuff~coins~toy Iron Fire Engine+International Harvester : Other Pumper Fire Truck 1944 International Harvester Pumper Fire Truck1970 Marx Hess Fire Truck W/ Original Box And Inserts & Working ElectronicsVintage Hot Wheels Heavy Weights Fire Engine Unpunched Blister Pack(1969)Large Wyandotte Ride On Fire Truck - All OriginalAntique 1920s Tin Ladder Fire Truck Friction Toy Dayton? 18" Usa Patent Nov 19211965 Marx Big Alarm Fire Truck Bruiser Series Battery Op + Box Hydrant Fine+ NrAntique Steam Fire Engine & Printing Press Baltimore American Newspaper Cut-outsSimon Duplex D350 Fire Truck Aerial Scope 75' Aerial Platform / Ladder TruckCode 3 Collectibles Fdny Fire Truck Lot Of 6 1950's Tonka Toys White Fire Truck Pumper Steel Suburban Toy Rare Vintage #5 Antique 1920 S Kingsbury Pressed Steel Fire Truck Engne Pump Metal Toy Fireman Vintage 1950s Federal Red Beacon Ray 17-d Fire Truck 12v LightRare Solido Die-cast Replica F.d.n.y. #5 Squad Fire Rescue Mack Truck Nyfd China Tin Toy Car Mf 995 Fire Truck Big 11" Mib. Rare I ThinkAmerican Lafrance Fire Truck MotometerTwh Sword Collectible Seagrave Ladder Fire TruckKeystone Vintage Steel Chemical Pump Engine Fire Truck Parts Are Restore60 Vintage Tomica Diecast Metal Toy Race Car Truck Fire Police Lot 1/64 Tomy Vintage Antique Cast Iron Fire Brigade Ladder Wagon Engine W/ Horse Drawn ToyVintage 34" Pressed Steel Doepke Rossmoyne Model Extension Ladder Fire Truck ExcCode 3 Fire Diecast Sag Harbor Ladder TruckCode 3 Los Angeles County Fire Department Engine 51 CollectibelNew Older K&b 6.5 Fire R/c Model Airplane Engine Wmuffler Perry Carb1970 Early Hess Fire Truck Complete W/ Box & InsertMatchbox Superfast Mb29 Fire Pumper G BoxLarge 1860's Albumen Of A Fire Pumper "junior Fire Co. 2" Antique Fireman~~vtg~~ Structo Hydraulic Fire Truck " All Original " (nr) New Athearn County Fire And Rescue Truck Nib 90801Akron Gemini Mounted Deck Gun W/stream Shaper Off Of Fire TruckVintage Doepke Model Toys Ladder Fire Truck ExcellentAmerican Lafrance Fire Truck Whelen Series 500 Led Strobes With Chrome BezelsFranklin Mint Precision Model 1954 American Lafrance Fire Engine Truck W/tag

Recent News: Fire Trucks

Source: Google News

Families uphold traditions at holiday parade
Jacksonville Daily News, November 23rd

Holiday parade. Santa rides in a vintage fire truck to concluded the Jacksonville Holiday Parade on Western Boulevard on Saturday. John Sudbrink / The Daily News. By Christopher Thomas Christopher.Thomas@JDNews.com ... Next year will herald the...Read more

Folks block downtown for dose of holiday cheer
Salina Journal, November 23rd

From the Live Nativity at Santa Fe Avenue and Ash Street, to fire truck rides, a Toy Train Exhibit at Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, antique fire truck rides at Sunflower Bank, and horse-drawn carriage rides, downtown Salina was loaded with...Read more

Celebrate the holidays downtown
Salisbury Post, November 22nd

13, antique fire truck rides will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Santa Claus and the Grinch in front of Okey Dokey at 126 E. Innes St. Finally, New Year's Eve just wouldn't be the same without literally ringing in the new year at the Bell...Read more

In Brookhaven, everyone loves a holiday parade
The Delaware County Daily Times, November 22nd

Dedicated to U.S. veterans, the parade featured several string bands, the Sun Valley High School Marching Band, antique cars, fire apparatus, police vehicles, clubs, organizations, dance schools, boy and girl scouts, local businesses, religious...Read more

Hundreds enjoy Bristol Township Holiday Parade
Bucks County Courier Times, November 22nd

Chloe and Bailie Ann Ferraro watch Santa Claus make his way down Mill Creek Parkway Saturday on top of a fire truck during Bristol Township's annual holiday parade. ... Starting at James Buchanan Elementary School on Haines Road and ending at Benjamin...Read more

Harry Chats With Ginger Spice Geri At F1 In Abu Dhabi
Daily Beast, November 22nd

“Think about a fire truck at the local fire station in your neighborhood,” Thompson told the magazine. “Fire trucks are there for emergencies, but 95% of the time they are waiting in the fire station for the emergency to occur. People might say money...Read more

The Moms of Monster Jam Drive Trucks, Buck Macho Culture
Daily Beast, November 22nd

Madusa's Facebook page is filled with pictures of small girls smiling and clinging to their Madusa memorabilia. While driving a .... “Think about a fire truck at the local fire station in your neighborhood,” Thompson told the magazine. “Fire trucks are...Read more

Is Cricket Flower the New Protein Powder?
Daily Beast, November 21st

“Think about a fire truck at the local fire station in your neighborhood,” Thompson told the magazine. “Fire trucks are there for emergencies, but 95% of the time they are waiting in the fire station for the emergency to occur. People might say money...Read more