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

Fire Fighters Museum planning for move in Port Hope
Northumberland Today, February 7th

Along with the central location and those great garage bays to accommodate their antique fire trucks, she said, the property comes with certain issues to work on — for example, they must upgrade the washrooms to accommodate a lot of people. The...Read more

'American Pickers' is looking for California collectors
Mount Shasta Herald, February 6th

A documentary series that explores the world of antique “picking” on History, American Pickers has announced it plans to film episodes in California starting in March and is looking for leads. The show follows pickers Mike Wolfe and ... Among the...Read more

'American Pickers' in search of desert treasure
The Desert Sun, February 5th

Some of the items they are specifically looking to include are vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, pre-'50s western gear, early firefighting equipment, vintage musical equipment, automotive...Read more

Public servant is now the one who needs help
Morganton News Herald, February 5th

There will be antique firefighting equipment available for bidding. To donate items for the auction, contact Lori Webb at 828-443-2497. Zaxby's is located at 2102 S. Sterling St., in Morganton. Ten percent of sales on Feb. 19 will be donated to help...Read more

American Pickers coming to the area
Siskiyou Daily News, February 4th

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique 'picking' on The History Channel. The hit show follows Wolfe and Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, ... Some of what they look for: Vintage...Read more

'American Pickers' is coming to California
Napa Valley Register, February 2nd

American Pickers, the show that follows two pickers around the country finding antique and vintage memorabilia, is headed to California looking for fellow pickers and places to explore. ... up on leads for places with large collections of things such...Read more

'American Pickers' looking for Merced-area collections
Merced Sun-Star, February 1st

The hosts of the History Channel series “American Pickers,” Mike Wolfe, right, and Frank Fritz, are coming to California in March to film their search for valuable memorabilia and antiques. Zachary Maxwell ... The “American Pickers” want to pick...Read more

Waco to rehab old Montana fire truck
The Missoulian, February 1st

After buying the American LaFrance in Montana, it was time for the 3,000-mile round trip: Fly to Billings, get the fire truck, drive home. He said a former member of the Dillon Jaycees sold it to him. The truck's purpose between 1996 and 2003 remains a...Read more