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 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 8h 24m
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CHICAGO FIREFIGHTER Antique THEATER Firemen FIRE ESCAPE Alarm VTG Helmet HISTORY
CHICAGO FIREFIGHTER Antique THEATER Firemen FIRE ESCAPE Alarm VTG Helmet HISTORY $27.00 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 11h 1m

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TEXACO FIRE CHIEF HELMET OIL GAS LIGHTED CLOCK GARAGE ADVERTISING SIGN LIGHT AD
TEXACO FIRE CHIEF HELMET OIL GAS LIGHTED CLOCK GARAGE ADVERTISING SIGN LIGHT AD $119.95
Time Remaining: 1d 12h 43m

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Vintage Antique fiberglass MSA fire helmet (Marked US FD)
Vintage Antique fiberglass MSA fire helmet (Marked US FD) $59.00
Time Remaining: 1d 15h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $94.00
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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 20h 40m
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Antique Fire Helmet Fire Fighters Helmet 1920
Antique Fire Helmet  Fire Fighters Helmet 1920 $129.00
Time Remaining: 2d 34m

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ANTIQUE GERMAN FEUERWEHRHELME/FIRE HELMET./CASQUE C.1868
ANTIQUE GERMAN FEUERWEHRHELME/FIRE HELMET./CASQUE C.1868 $75.10 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 4h 23m

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Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate
Antique Brass Fire Helmet Paperweight old patina heavy weight ornate $15.00
Time Remaining: 2d 5h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
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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 $12.95
Time Remaining: 2d 11h 22m

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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: 2d 11h 22m

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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 $3.67
Time Remaining: 2d 11h 22m

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1945 antique 1810 fire fireman helmet & moderr Henry T Gratacap Atlantic ad
1945 antique 1810 fire fireman helmet & moderr Henry T Gratacap Atlantic ad $9.99
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 49m
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Antique Vintage Rare Pre War ? Chief Fire Fighter Helmet Sheild Rizal City WOW!!
Antique Vintage Rare Pre War ? Chief Fire Fighter Helmet Sheild Rizal City WOW!! $150.00
Time Remaining: 2d 13h 19m
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ANTIQUE BRASS FIGURAL NEWEL POST LAMP, FRENCH or ENGLISH DRAGOON FIRE HELMET
ANTIQUE BRASS FIGURAL NEWEL POST LAMP, FRENCH or ENGLISH DRAGOON FIRE HELMET $225.00
Time Remaining: 2d 13h 56m

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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 22h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $279.00
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ANTIQUE FRENCH SAPEUR POMPIERS FIRE BRIGADE EMBLEM / BADGE
ANTIQUE FRENCH SAPEUR POMPIERS FIRE BRIGADE EMBLEM / BADGE $22.51
Time Remaining: 3d 3h 59m

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1960s? Vintage Antique Texaco gas oil Chief fire hat helmet toy
 1960s? Vintage Antique Texaco gas oil Chief fire hat helmet toy $15.00
Time Remaining: 4d 1h 49m

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Fire Fighter Cross Stitch 7 Patterns Retirement Helmet Antique Firetrucks Hose
Fire Fighter Cross Stitch 7 Patterns Retirement Helmet Antique Firetrucks Hose $5.25
Time Remaining: 5d 12h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $5.25
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Antique Fire Chief Helmet
Antique Fire Chief Helmet $30.00
Time Remaining: 6d 2h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $65.00
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VTG Fire Fighters High Eagle Helmet White Leather Antique Cairns PFFM 2008
VTG Fire Fighters High Eagle Helmet White Leather Antique Cairns PFFM 2008 $299.99
Time Remaining: 6d 3h 14m

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