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 Vintage Cairns & Bro High Eagle Leather Fire Helmet San Mateo California
ANTIQUE Vintage Cairns & Bro High Eagle Leather Fire Helmet San Mateo California $449.00 (16 Bids)
Time Remaining: 8h 30m

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Antique/Vintage CHICAGO FIRE DEPT CAIRNS Resin Fiberglass Cairns Fire Helmet
Antique/Vintage CHICAGO FIRE DEPT CAIRNS Resin Fiberglass Cairns Fire Helmet $69.95
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 48m

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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: 1d 6h 27m
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VINTAGE ANTIQUE FIREMAN HELMET FT RILEY FIRE INSPECTOR HARD HAT FIREFIGHTER ARMY
VINTAGE ANTIQUE FIREMAN HELMET FT RILEY FIRE INSPECTOR HARD HAT FIREFIGHTER ARMY $26.29
Time Remaining: 1d 9h 36m
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Antique German Fire Brigades Helmet WWI
Antique German Fire Brigades Helmet WWI $100.00
Time Remaining: 1d 15h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $175.00
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ANTIQUE EARLY DIVER BRASS DIVING HELMET SUIT POLICE? FIRE? RIVER? CHEST PHOTO
ANTIQUE EARLY DIVER BRASS DIVING HELMET SUIT POLICE? FIRE? RIVER? CHEST PHOTO $69.99
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 43m
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CAIRNS & BROS. ANTIQUE LEATHER FIRE HELMET - EX COND.!! A BEAUTY!!
CAIRNS & BROS. ANTIQUE LEATHER FIRE HELMET - EX COND.!!  A BEAUTY!! $330.00 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 1h 51m

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Antique German Miniature Helmet WW1 Pickelhaube Fire Helmet Inkpot,Inkwell
Antique German Miniature Helmet WW1 Pickelhaube Fire Helmet Inkpot,Inkwell $279.00
Time Remaining: 2d 20h 36m
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Antique Vintage Firefighter Metal Bed Wrench Fireman Tool Fire
Antique Vintage Firefighter Metal Bed Wrench Fireman Tool Fire $130.00
Time Remaining: 3d 23h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $175.00
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4 Vintage Antique Fire Sprinkler Grinnell Helmet Quartzoid Steampunk Look
4 Vintage Antique Fire Sprinkler Grinnell Helmet Quartzoid Steampunk Look $75.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19m

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Antique Vintage Cairns 880 Liberty Corner Fire Firefighter Helmet
Antique Vintage Cairns 880 Liberty Corner Fire Firefighter Helmet $79.00 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4d 6h 53m

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Fire Helmet - Antique Cairns & Bros Red Helmet
Fire Helmet - Antique Cairns & Bros Red Helmet $200.00
Time Remaining: 4d 7h 29m

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Antique Fire Helmet
Antique Fire Helmet $75.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 49m

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Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 5
Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 5 $39.95
Time Remaining: 5d 7h 59m

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Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 1
Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 1 $79.95
Time Remaining: 5d 7h 59m

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Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 3
Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 3 $49.95
Time Remaining: 5d 7h 59m

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Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 6
Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 6 $39.95
Time Remaining: 5d 7h 59m

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Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 2
Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 2 $59.95
Time Remaining: 5d 8h

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Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 4
Antique European Parade Helmet Old German Knights Templar Masonic Police Fire 4 $49.95
Time Remaining: 5d 8h

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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: 5d 9h 41m

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