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

Television's 'American Pickers' to film in March in California area
Yucaipa/Calimesa News Mirror, February 12th

“American Pickers” is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on the History channels. 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

TV & Radio: Ashley Ritchie not returning to KMPH anchor job
Fresno Bee (blog), February 10th

Some of what they look for: vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, pre-'50s Western gear, early firefighting equipment, vintage musical equipment, automotive items and clothing. If you or...Read more

Morning Report: Fancy Coffee Tries to Grab the Craft Spotlight
Voice of San Diego, February 10th

The guys from “American Pickers” are heading to San Diego in search of junk that could be worth a bundle: “Vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, pre-50's western gear, early firefighting...Read more

Learn the basics of firefighting at public classes
The Tennessean, February 9th

Once again, Battlefield Regions Antique and Car Club has lost one of its members. Carl Shutt passed away recently after several months in an assisted living facility. Funeral services were held at Hickory Chapel, with club member David Cavender...Read more

Records family firefighting dedication will continue
Salisbury Independent, February 9th

The 78-year-old Salisbury native, who worked for the fire department 37 years, then returned as a volunteer, was honored at his funeral Tuesday by having his coffin transported on an antique fire truck. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1959...Read more

Firehouse Subs opens in Lake Orion
The Oakland Press, February 9th

The Firehouse Subs fast casual restaurant chain was founded by former firefighting brothers and now has shops in 44 states. The décor of the franchises is based on the founding family's decades of fire and police service, and firefighter memorabilia...Read more

A century of safety: Historical photos of Kansas City's police and fire ...
Kansas City Star, February 9th

Kansas City's horse-drawn era of firefighting began to end in 1909, when the department acquired a right-hand drive Pope-Hartford roadster. Motorized fire equipment allowed the fire department to place fire stations at greater distances across the city...Read more

'American Pickers' coming to California
Milpitas Post, February 9th

classic cars and bicycles, as well as unique vintage memorabilia. Wolfe's Antique Archaeology stores are located in Iowa and Tennessee. As part of its visit to the Golden State, ... "Some of what they look for: vintage bicycles, toys, unusual...Read more