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 Rio De Janeiro Fireman Helmet Firemen Firefighter Fire Man Men Hat
Antique Rio De Janeiro Fireman Helmet Firemen Firefighter Fire Man Men Hat $99.00
Time Remaining: 1h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $130.00
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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: 2h 54m

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Antique High Eagle Cairns Brothers Aluminum Fire Helmet WALL DISPLAY ONLY
Antique High Eagle Cairns Brothers Aluminum Fire Helmet WALL  DISPLAY ONLY  $399.99
Time Remaining: 12h
Buy It Now for only: $399.99
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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 $13.99
Time Remaining: 21h 50m

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Cairns Red Leather Fire Helmet Antique Vintage
Cairns Red Leather Fire Helmet Antique Vintage $350.00
Time Remaining: 1d 27m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 16 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 16 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 37m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 26 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 26 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 11m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 30 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 30 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 28m

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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: 1d 1h 37m

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ANTIQUE FIRE HELMET LEATHER BADGE STATION 4 KINGSTON CAIRNS & BROS
ANTIQUE FIRE HELMET LEATHER BADGE STATION 4 KINGSTON CAIRNS & BROS $40.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 40m

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ANTIQUE FIRE HELMET LEATHER BADGE PFD ENGINE 2 HAND PAINTED
ANTIQUE FIRE HELMET LEATHER BADGE PFD ENGINE 2 HAND PAINTED $40.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 41m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 65 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 65 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 43m

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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: 1d 1h 46m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 84 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns ENGINE 84 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 49m

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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: 1d 1h 51m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 20 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 20 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 55m

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 26 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 26 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 2h

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Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 27 fire helmet leather front shield
Antique CHICAGO FIRE DEPT. Cairns Truck 27 fire helmet leather front shield $75.00
Time Remaining: 1d 2h 3m

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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: 1d 2h 5m

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Fire Fighting Helmet AFL-CLC Antique
Fire Fighting Helmet AFL-CLC Antique $39.95
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 15m

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