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



Old Antique Cast Iron & Metal Fire Helmet Bell Fire Engine Pedal Car Part
Old Antique Cast Iron & Metal Fire Helmet Bell Fire Engine Pedal Car Part $29.95
Time Remaining: 5h 13m

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Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo
Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo $15.95
Time Remaining: 8h 52m

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Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo
Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo $12.95
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Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo
Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo $4.99
Time Remaining: 8h 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: 18h 16m
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Antique Helmet Shaped Copper Scuttle/Bucket - Planter or Fire Companion - 2.4KG
Antique Helmet Shaped Copper Scuttle/Bucket - Planter or Fire Companion - 2.4KG $15.92 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 19h 36m

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ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET $370.00
Time Remaining: 22h 51m
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Fire Fighter Cross Stitch 7 Patterns Fire House Helmet Antique Firetrucks
Fire Fighter Cross Stitch 7 Patterns Fire House Helmet Antique Firetrucks $6.75
Time Remaining: 23h 18m
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ANTIQUE Cuban FIRE Havana FIGHTER Firefighters HELMET Badge “CBA” #16 CUBA 1940s
ANTIQUE Cuban FIRE Havana FIGHTER Firefighters HELMET Badge “CBA” #16 CUBA 1940s $294.95
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 52m

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Senufo Fire Splitter Helmet Mask- Ivory Coast African Tribal Art 35mm Slide
Senufo Fire Splitter Helmet Mask- Ivory Coast African Tribal Art 35mm Slide $11.21
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 31m
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Senufo Fire Splitter Helmet Mask- Ivory Coast African Tribal Art 35mm Slide
Senufo Fire Splitter Helmet Mask- Ivory Coast African Tribal Art 35mm Slide $11.21
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 31m
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Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 2
Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 2 $33.00
Time Remaining: 2d 29m
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Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 3
Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 3 $33.00
Time Remaining: 2d 29m
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Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo
Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo $5.99
Time Remaining: 2d 6h 8m
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Antique high lion fire helmet NO RESERVE
Antique high lion fire helmet NO RESERVE $34.00 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 7h 6m

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Antique high eagle john olson 1870's fire helmet NO RESERVE
Antique high eagle john olson 1870's fire helmet NO RESERVE $155.00 (19 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 7h 14m

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Antique high eagle cairns 1870's fire helmet NO RESERVE
Antique high eagle cairns 1870's fire helmet NO RESERVE $157.00 (19 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 7h 25m

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Antique German FIRE HELMET in Leather & Brass
Antique German FIRE HELMET in Leather & Brass $289.00
Time Remaining: 2d 8h 57m

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Antique vintage leather NFD 62 699 Hat helmet Fire Fighter Cairns
Antique vintage leather NFD 62 699 Hat helmet Fire Fighter Cairns $275.00
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 7m
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Super Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Helmet & Hat Set
Super Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Helmet & Hat Set $100.00
Time Remaining: 2d 20h 10m
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