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 Swiss fire Helmet
Antique Swiss fire Helmet $165.00
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ANTIQUE CAIRNS & BRO LEATHER FIRE FIREMEN'S HAT HELMET PAT # 1,889,537 ST. JAMES
ANTIQUE CAIRNS & BRO LEATHER FIRE FIREMEN'S HAT HELMET PAT # 1,889,537 ST. JAMES $499.99
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*NO RESERVE* Antique Cairns & Bro. High Eagle Fire Helmet 143 Grand
*NO RESERVE* Antique Cairns & Bro. High Eagle Fire Helmet 143 Grand $102.50 (18 Bids)
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FIREMAN HELMET -FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE HELM
FIREMAN HELMET -FIRE CHIEF OFFICE HELMET-FIREFIGHTER HELMET- ANTIQUE HELM $85.00
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Antique 1920’s Chicago Fire Department Fire Helmet High Eagle Cairns
Antique 1920’s Chicago Fire Department Fire Helmet High Eagle Cairns $100.00
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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
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ANTIQUE VINTAGE LATE 1890S FIREMANS HOSEMAN FIRE HAT EAGLE HELMET
ANTIQUE VINTAGE LATE 1890S FIREMANS HOSEMAN FIRE HAT EAGLE HELMET $338.33 (18 Bids)
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Antique Leather Fire Helmet ca. 1900s
Antique Leather Fire Helmet ca. 1900s $27.57 (3 Bids)
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JAPANESE ANTIQUE FIRE FIGHTER'S BAMBOO & CLOTH HELMET INSIGNIA #3
JAPANESE ANTIQUE FIRE FIGHTER'S BAMBOO & CLOTH HELMET INSIGNIA  #3 $51.00 (9 Bids)
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Young men fencers w sword fire helmet beer fun antique photo
Young men fencers w sword fire helmet beer fun antique photo $28.00
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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
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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
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Antique Silver Metal Volunteer Fire Department Helmet Hat Badge Shield
Antique Silver Metal Volunteer Fire Department Helmet Hat Badge Shield $41.00 (2 Bids)
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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
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Brass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet
Brass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet $110.00
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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
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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
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ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET $370.00
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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
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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: 10d 3h 35m
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