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

Woman, dogs escape fire in Mitchell
Alton Telegraph, August 28th

Firefighters move a hose line into place Thursday at 5429 Old Alton Rd. in Mitchell as flames shoot through the roof of the house which was gutted by the fire. A female occupant and her dogs were asleep in the house when the fire broke out but were...Read more

Parade parties a tradition in Richmond
New Baltimore Voice Newspapers, August 28th

Always active in his community, Schultz is currently the mayor pro tem for the city of Richmond, was a volunteer fireman for the city for 27 years, chairman of the festival for three years and still manages the Antique Fire Truck Muster event in the...Read more

Cheap Eats: The Halligan Bar & Grill
Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 27th

Other displays of firefighting memorabilia cover sections of the walls. The highlight of the barbecue was the pulled pork. It was tender and full of flavor. I had it with the platter, which gave me a piece of moist, spicy cornbread and two sides. I had...Read more

'Everybody loved Harold': Sullivan County honors late fire official +PHOTOS
Times Herald-Record, August 27th

WOODRIDGE — It was only fitting that Harold Kronenberg's casket was loaded into the back of a red antique fire truck instead of the black hearse parked next to it. Kronenberg, who was Sullivan County's fire coordinator for 26 years before retiring in...Read more

Ocala's top scavengers revealed
Ocala, August 27th

This Antique Ward LaFrance fire truck marks the entrance to Fox Crossing Tavern, 10932 E. County Road 25, Belleview. 5. The 1958 Ward LaFrance fire truck is at Ocala Rescue Supply & Gifts at 9590 SW State Road 200, just northeast of County Road 484...Read more

Firefighting history: Springetts auction sells memorabilia from old station
York Daily Record/Sunday News, August 25th

Auctioneer Gary L. Gladfelter donated his services for an auction of items from the old Springettsbury Township Fire Co. on Monday. The items were being cleared from the old fire station before it is demolished to make way for a shopping center...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