Antique Fire Helmets

The fire helmet dates back to the 1700s, when leather helmets were first produced. Originally an impractical "stovepipe" shape, fire helmets were redesigned in 1836 by New York City firefighter and hatmaker Henry Gratacap. Gratacap's design, with its domed crown, flat front, and extended rear brim, is still the basic shape of fire helmets today. Around the same time, a New York-based company called Cairns began producing embossed shields that could be mounted on the front of a fire helmet for identification, and the helmet as we know it today was created.

Fire helmet materials have changed as the technology advanced. In the 1920s, lightweight aluminum helmets became popular for a while. However, these failed in practice because aluminum is too good a conductor of heat and electricity, and firefighters went back to the old leather helmets. Fiberglass and thermoplastic finally replaced leather in the 1970s, and under the direction of the National Fire Protection Association, helmets acquired built-in hoods and face shields for extra protection.

One special category of antique fire helmets is presentation helmets. They are called that because they were presented to retiring firefighters. Presentation helmets are a favorite of collectors because they are more ornate and beautiful than regular helmets. They are also usually well cared for and preserved, with none of the wear and tear an ordinary working helmet acquires.

If you're thinking of starting an antique fire helmet collection, it may help to consider specializing at first. You could choose to collect helmets from a specific city or area, from a particular era, or from a certain type of firefighter, such as only chiefs' helmets or only engine company helmets. Take the time to look and think about which antique helmets appeal to you the most, and you'll get more pleasure out of your collection.

Turnout Gear: Antique Fire Helmets



Antique Leather Plate Fireman Helmet Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department
Antique Leather Plate Fireman Helmet Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department $69.99
Time Remaining: 20h 26m

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NAPOLEON ANTIQUE French Firefighter Brass FIRE Helmet EAGLE WAR ARMY FIREMAN
NAPOLEON ANTIQUE French Firefighter Brass FIRE Helmet EAGLE WAR ARMY FIREMAN  $273.00 (22 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 41m

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Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate
Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate $15.00
Time Remaining: 1d 8h 20m
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Old Vintage Antique MSA Fire Helmet
Old Vintage Antique MSA Fire Helmet $50.00
Time Remaining: 1d 9h 43m

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Antique Swiss fire Helmet
Antique Swiss fire Helmet $165.00
Time Remaining: 1d 15h 17m
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ANTIQUE CAIRNS & BRO LEATHER FIRE FIREMEN'S HAT HELMET PAT # 1,889,537 ST. JAMES
ANTIQUE CAIRNS & BRO LEATHER FIRE FIREMEN'S HAT HELMET PAT # 1,889,537 ST. JAMES $499.99
Time Remaining: 1d 17h 24m
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Antique CAST IRON PROMO FIREFIGHTER'S HELMET Fire Equip. Co. PAPERWEIGHT VTG FS
Antique CAST IRON PROMO FIREFIGHTER'S HELMET  Fire Equip. Co. PAPERWEIGHT VTG FS $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 23h 47m
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Antique Fire Helmet, Brass, Late 19th Early 20th Century - Fireman, Firefighter
Antique Fire Helmet, Brass, Late 19th Early 20th Century - Fireman, Firefighter $99.99
Time Remaining: 2d 2h 58m

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Antique 1877 Cast Iron FIRE DEPT HELMET Grave Marker Sign
Antique 1877 Cast Iron FIRE DEPT HELMET Grave Marker Sign $26.00 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 3h 1m

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Antique Vintage Rare Pre War ? Chief Fire Fighter Helmet Sheild Rizal City WOW!!
Antique Vintage Rare Pre War ? Chief Fire Fighter Helmet Sheild Rizal City WOW!! $200.00
Time Remaining: 3d 3h 52m
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Vintage Abercrombie & Fitch advertising bottle opener fire man chief hat helmet
Vintage Abercrombie & Fitch advertising bottle opener fire man chief hat helmet $164.95
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 15m
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2 SUNCATCHERS—FIRE HELMET & ANTIQUE FIRE TRUCK—RED & YELLOW GLASS
2 SUNCATCHERS—FIRE HELMET & ANTIQUE FIRE TRUCK—RED & YELLOW GLASS $3.99
Time Remaining: 3d 18h 50m

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Antique Russian fire helmet
Antique Russian fire helmet $130.00
Time Remaining: 4d 3h 30m

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Vintage FIREMAN FIRE FIGHTER WATCH FOB HELMET HAT Antique Metal Charm Prize
Vintage FIREMAN FIRE FIGHTER WATCH FOB HELMET HAT Antique Metal Charm Prize $59.00
Time Remaining: 4d 18h 56m
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SUPERB ANTIQUE BRITISH SENIOR FIRE OFFICER'S HELMET WITH CREST
SUPERB ANTIQUE BRITISH SENIOR FIRE OFFICER'S HELMET WITH CREST $1,095.00
Time Remaining: 6d 2h 38m

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Edo Japanese Antique Samurai Kawari KAJI Kamon Fireman Kabuto FIRE Helmet Armor
Edo Japanese Antique Samurai Kawari KAJI Kamon Fireman Kabuto FIRE Helmet Armor $1,800.00
Time Remaining: 6d 6h 2m
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Antique Switzerland Metal Fire Helmet c.1920 Firefighter Fireman Swiss w/Liner!
Antique Switzerland Metal Fire Helmet c.1920 Firefighter Fireman Swiss w/Liner! $249.99
Time Remaining: 8d 4h 30m
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ANTIQUE 7 LBS FIRE HYDRANT MAN TRUCK AXE PICK HELMET LADDER ART COPPER BOOKENDS
ANTIQUE 7 LBS FIRE HYDRANT MAN TRUCK AXE PICK HELMET LADDER ART COPPER BOOKENDS $595.00
Time Remaining: 8d 15h
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Brass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet
Brass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet $99.00
Time Remaining: 8d 18h 46m
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ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET $370.00
Time Remaining: 9d 19h 11m
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