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



Vintage Cairns Brothers Firemen New Jersey Fire Firefighter's FD Metal Helmet
Vintage Cairns Brothers Firemen New Jersey Fire Firefighter's FD Metal Helmet $215.00
Time Remaining: 15h 5m
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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: 1d 51m
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Antique Silver Metal Volunteer Fire Department Helmet Hat Badge Shield
Antique Silver Metal Volunteer Fire Department Helmet Hat Badge Shield $338.00 (9 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 19h 47m

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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: 2d 23h 19m
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Brass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet & Wood Stand
Brass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet & Wood Stand $110.00
Time Remaining: 3d 1h 23m
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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: 3d 9h 49m
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Vintage Roman Fireman Helmet antique face mask fire fighter Rome
Vintage Roman Fireman Helmet antique face mask fire fighter Rome $39.00
Time Remaining: 3d 15h 58m
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Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate
Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate $20.00
Time Remaining: 4d 7h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $35.00
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ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET $370.00
Time Remaining: 4d 14h
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Antique CAST IRON PROMO FIREFIGHTER'S HELMET Gorham Fire Equip. Co. Boston
Antique CAST IRON PROMO FIREFIGHTER'S HELMET Gorham Fire Equip. Co. Boston $140.00
Time Remaining: 5d 17h 33m
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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: 6d 11h 19m
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Super Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Helmet & Hat & Emblem Set
Super Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Helmet & Hat & Emblem Set $120.00
Time Remaining: 6d 12h 43m
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Super Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Helmet Hat Emblem Set
Super Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Helmet Hat Emblem Set $120.00
Time Remaining: 6d 13h 12m
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Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Emblem Helmet & Hat & Belt Set
Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Emblem Helmet & Hat & Belt Set $180.00
Time Remaining: 6d 13h 50m
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Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Sign Emblem Helmet Hat Belt Set
Rare Showa Antique Japanese Fire Fighter Fireman Sign Emblem Helmet Hat Belt Set $190.00
Time Remaining: 6d 14h 16m
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antique cast horse drawn hook and ladder fire engine blue helmet
antique cast horse drawn hook and ladder fire engine blue helmet $79.85
Time Remaining: 6d 15h 10m

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FIRE ENGINE ANTIQUE STYLE NEW
 FIRE ENGINE ANTIQUE STYLE NEW $189.00
Time Remaining: 7d 13h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $189.00
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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: 9d 18h 45m
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Antique Metal Chiefs White Fire Helmet - Cairns
Antique Metal Chiefs White Fire Helmet - Cairns $200.00
Time Remaining: 9d 23h 12m
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BRASS FIREMAN HELMET-FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE HELM
BRASS FIREMAN HELMET-FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE HELM $99.00
Time Remaining: 10d 57m
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