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 BRASS FIGURAL NEWEL POST LAMP, FRENCH or ENGLISH DRAGOON FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE BRASS FIGURAL NEWEL POST LAMP, FRENCH or ENGLISH DRAGOON FIRE HELMET $196.87
Time Remaining: 11h 53m
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Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo
Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo $19.95
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 4m
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Antique German FIRE HELMET in Leather & Brass
Antique German FIRE HELMET in Leather & Brass $289.00
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 59m

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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: 1d 14h 32m
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Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo
Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo $15.95
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 35m

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Rare Antique Phoenix Fire Extinguishing Compound lithograph tin canister 21" NY
Rare Antique Phoenix Fire Extinguishing Compound lithograph tin canister 21 $15.95
Time Remaining: 1d 22h 10m

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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: 2d 1h 2m
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Cairns & Brothers Red&Black Metal Fire Helmet W/Visor Antique Firefighting Rare
Cairns & Brothers Red&Black Metal Fire Helmet W/Visor Antique Firefighting Rare $50.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2d 1h 46m

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Cairns Fire Helmet 1889 patent date High Eagle Antique EPFD
Cairns Fire Helmet  1889 patent date High Eagle Antique EPFD $116.50 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 4h 29m

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ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE 1930s FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER JUNIOR FIRE HELMET $370.00
Time Remaining: 3d 5h 12m
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ANTIQUE JAPANESE BAMBOO FIRE FIGHTER'S HELMET W HEAT SHEILD 1946-1954 MINT
ANTIQUE JAPANESE BAMBOO FIRE FIGHTER'S HELMET W HEAT SHEILD 1946-1954 MINT $99.99
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 36m

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Antique vintage leather NFD 62 699 Hat helmet Fire Fighter Cairns
Antique vintage leather NFD 62 699 Hat helmet Fire Fighter Cairns $249.00
Time Remaining: 3d 17h 29m
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Antique Old Austria Brass Fire Chief Helmet Ca.1900 Town Of Heinzendorf
Antique Old Austria Brass Fire Chief Helmet Ca.1900 Town Of Heinzendorf $199.99
Time Remaining: 4d 10h 41m

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Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo
Old/Antique/Vintage 1858 Fireman/Firefighter Helmet Jacket Fire Engine Photo $5.99
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 11m
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RARE Antique French Fire Helmet Marins Pompiers MINT ESTATE FRESH
RARE Antique French Fire Helmet Marins Pompiers MINT ESTATE FRESH $169.99
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 18m

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Antique Austrian Brass Fire Chief Helmet Ca.1920 ESTATE FRESH
Antique Austrian Brass Fire Chief Helmet Ca.1920 ESTATE FRESH $189.99
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 18m

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Antique German Messinghelm Bayern Fire Helmet Ca.1880 ESTATE FRESH
Antique German Messinghelm Bayern Fire Helmet Ca.1880 ESTATE FRESH $149.99
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 20m

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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: 5d 2h 32m
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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: 5d 3h 56m
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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: 5d 4h 25m
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