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 Cuban FIRE Havana FIGHTER Firefighters HELMET Badge “CBA” #16 CUBA 1940s
ANTIQUE Cuban FIRE Havana FIGHTER Firefighters HELMET Badge “CBA” #16 CUBA 1940s $194.95
Time Remaining: 6h 55m

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"Brass Finish Antique Style WITH LINER Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet"
$95.00
Time Remaining: 7h 16m
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Antique Brass British Fireman Helmet Collectible Fire Bridge British Full Brass"
Antique Brass British Fireman Helmet Collectible Fire Bridge British Full Brass $90.00
Time Remaining: 7h 30m
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"ORIGINAL Brass Finish Antique Style FireMan Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet NEW
$95.00
Time Remaining: 7h 30m
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2 SET HELMET VINTAGE ANTIQUE BRASS FIRE MAN HELMET -FIRE BRIGADE FIRE MAN HELMET
2 SET HELMET VINTAGE ANTIQUE BRASS FIRE MAN HELMET -FIRE BRIGADE FIRE MAN HELMET $99.00
Time Remaining: 16h 38m

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Antique Early 1900 German Leather Fire Fighter Fighting GEHAU HELMET Pickelhaube
Antique Early 1900 German Leather Fire Fighter Fighting GEHAU HELMET Pickelhaube $359.95
Time Remaining: 1d 9h 16m
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Antique Cairns Leather Fire Men Helmet Hat 6 7/8 Pba
Antique Cairns Leather Fire Men Helmet Hat  6 7/8  Pba $69.00 (28 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 13h 14m

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3 PCS ANTIQUE FIRE MAN HELMET-Historical Firefighting Collectibles Helmet
3 PCS ANTIQUE FIRE MAN HELMET-Historical Firefighting Collectibles Helmet $145.00
Time Remaining: 1d 17h 25m

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3 PCS NAUTICAL VINTAGE BRASS FIRE BRIGADE FIREMAN HELMET
3 PCS NAUTICAL VINTAGE BRASS FIRE BRIGADE FIREMAN HELMET $149.00
Time Remaining: 1d 17h 51m

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3 PCS ANTIQUE FIRE MAN HELMET-Historical Firefighting Collectibles Helmet
3 PCS ANTIQUE FIRE MAN HELMET-Historical Firefighting Collectibles Helmet $195.00
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 16m

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Antique Cairns Fire Helmet
Antique Cairns Fire Helmet $495.00
Time Remaining: 2d 2h 43m
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Antique Vintage Style Brass Fireman Fire Fighter Helmet Keychain
Antique Vintage Style Brass Fireman Fire Fighter Helmet Keychain $0.99
Time Remaining: 2d 11h 36m

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Armour Helmet Brass Fire Fireman Helmet Replica Decor Armour Helmet Replica F
Armour Helmet Brass Fire Fireman Helmet Replica Decor Armour Helmet Replica F $109.99
Time Remaining: 2d 20h 23m
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" NEWBrass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet
$95.00
Time Remaining: 3d 1h 39m
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LG. COPPER FIRE HYDRANT LADDER AXE HELMET DETAILED ART SCULPTURE BOOKENDS
LG. COPPER FIRE HYDRANT LADDER AXE HELMET DETAILED ART SCULPTURE BOOKENDS $275.00
Time Remaining: 3d 11h 23m
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Brass NYFD New York NY Fire Department Fireman Firefighter Whistle Antique Style
Brass NYFD New York NY Fire Department Fireman Firefighter Whistle Antique Style $14.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 25m

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ANTIQUE CAIRNS & BROTHERS FIRE FIGHTERS FIREFIGHTERS BLACK HELMET LEATHER VTG
ANTIQUE CAIRNS & BROTHERS FIRE FIGHTERS FIREFIGHTERS BLACK HELMET LEATHER VTG $349.95
Time Remaining: 4d 14h 14m
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ANTIQUE BRASS COAL HELMET / GARDEN PLANTER / FIRE HOD / HEARTH BUCKET /PLANT POT
ANTIQUE BRASS COAL HELMET / GARDEN PLANTER / FIRE HOD / HEARTH BUCKET /PLANT POT $38.30
Time Remaining: 4d 21h 7m

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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 $28.00
Time Remaining: 5d 2h 28m
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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 $28.00
Time Remaining: 5d 2h 28m
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