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 CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 30 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 30 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 3h 16m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 77 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 77 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 3h 16m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 43 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 43 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 3h 17m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 16 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 16 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 3h 18m

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Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate early 1900s
Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate early 1900s $245.00
Time Remaining: 23h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $245.00
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ANTIQUE EARLY 1900'S CAIRNS AND BROS NEW YORK HIGH EAGLE, LEATHER FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE EARLY 1900'S  CAIRNS AND BROS NEW YORK HIGH EAGLE, LEATHER FIRE HELMET $345.00 (10 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 15m

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ANTIQUE FIRE HYDRANT AXE HELMET TOOL ART STATUE SCULPTURE COPPER BRONZE BOOKENDS
ANTIQUE FIRE HYDRANT AXE HELMET TOOL ART STATUE SCULPTURE COPPER BRONZE BOOKENDS $595.00
Time Remaining: 2d 1h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $595.00
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Antique Helmet. Fire, Construction Or Miilitary.
Antique Helmet.  Fire, Construction Or Miilitary. $40.99
Time Remaining: 2d 3h 15m

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Wearable Brass Fireman Helmet - Chief Fire Fighter - Marked "SA FB" - Replica
Wearable Brass Fireman Helmet - Chief Fire Fighter - Marked $99.99
Time Remaining: 2d 3h 21m

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Antique 1962 To 1965 LAFD Bullard Fire Helmet Front Badge
Antique 1962 To 1965 LAFD Bullard Fire Helmet Front Badge $50.00
Time Remaining: 2d 6h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $75.00
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ANTIQUE EARLY DIVER BRASS DIVING HELMET SUIT POLICE? FIRE? RIVER? CHEST PHOTO
ANTIQUE EARLY DIVER BRASS DIVING HELMET SUIT POLICE? FIRE? RIVER? CHEST PHOTO $69.99
Time Remaining: 2d 13h 59m
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BUY BRASS FIREMAN HELMET-FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE
BUY BRASS FIREMAN HELMET-FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE $89.00
Time Remaining: 3d 10h 21m

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MFB BRASS FIREMAN HELMET-FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE
MFB BRASS FIREMAN HELMET-FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE $79.00
Time Remaining: 3d 10h 27m

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H-1952 TEXACO GAS DALMATIAN SNOWBALL PUPPY FIRE HELMET AD
H-1952 TEXACO GAS DALMATIAN SNOWBALL PUPPY FIRE HELMET AD $21.95
Time Remaining: 3d 15h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $21.95
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ANTIQUE VINTAGE LATE 1890S FIREMANS HOSEMAN FIRE HAT EAGLE HELMET
ANTIQUE VINTAGE LATE 1890S FIREMANS HOSEMAN FIRE HAT EAGLE HELMET $999.99
Time Remaining: 3d 18h 16m

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Solid Brass Bell Fire Fighter Brigade Fireman Antique Helmet Hat Shape Vintage
Solid Brass Bell Fire Fighter Brigade Fireman Antique Helmet Hat Shape Vintage $39.90
Time Remaining: 3d 22h 42m

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Antique France Brass Fire Helmet 19 th. century
Antique France Brass Fire Helmet 19 th. century $129.90
Time Remaining: 3d 22h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $129.90
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GOOD ANTIQUE BRITISH BRASS MERRYWEATHER PATTERN FIRE HELMET
GOOD ANTIQUE BRITISH BRASS MERRYWEATHER PATTERN FIRE HELMET $413.70 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4d 20h 56m

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COLLECTOR FIREMAN'S REPLICA HELMET FROM LEHIGH VALLEY ANTIQUE FIRE MUSEUM
COLLECTOR FIREMAN'S REPLICA HELMET FROM LEHIGH VALLEY ANTIQUE FIRE MUSEUM $9.99
Time Remaining: 5d 14h 57m

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Antique Japanese Porcelain BULLDOG Figures w Painted FIRE HELMETS *FREE SHIPPING
Antique Japanese Porcelain BULLDOG Figures w Painted FIRE HELMETS *FREE SHIPPING $20.00
Time Remaining: 6d 2h 45m

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