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



"Brass Finish Antique Style WITH LINER Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet"
$95.00
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Antique Brass British Fireman Helmet Collectible Fire Bridge British Full Brass"
Antique Brass British Fireman Helmet Collectible Fire Bridge British Full Brass $90.00
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"ORIGINAL Brass Finish Antique Style FireMan Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet NEW
$95.00
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Vintage Antique French Pompiers Sapeurs Deveyrins Fire Helmet Brass
Vintage Antique French Pompiers Sapeurs Deveyrins Fire Helmet Brass $109.99
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Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 2
Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 2 $25.52
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Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 3
Antique Vintage FIRE Engine/Ladder #1 Helmet Frontice Front Badge NEW SHARON 3 $25.52
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Antique Cairns and Bros. Leather Fire Helmet New Jersey
Antique Cairns and Bros. Leather Fire Helmet New Jersey $145.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 15h 56m

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VINTAGE ANTIQUE CHICAGO FIRE DEPT SQUAD 5 Captain's Uniform Hat
VINTAGE ANTIQUE CHICAGO FIRE DEPT SQUAD 5 Captain's  Uniform Hat $85.00
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Vtg fire department helmet antique old eagle firefighter equipment
Vtg fire department helmet antique old eagle firefighter equipment $29.99
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ANTIQUE 1905 FIREMAN PHOTO, FIRE FIGHTING, HELMET
ANTIQUE 1905 FIREMAN PHOTO, FIRE FIGHTING, HELMET $9.99
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Antique fire helmet
Antique fire helmet $28.00
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Vintage Cairns Brothers Gladstone Fire Firefighter's FD 910 Helmet 6 7/8- 7 1/2
Vintage Cairns Brothers Gladstone Fire Firefighter's FD 910 Helmet 6 7/8- 7 1/2 $175.00
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Antique Fireman Badge, Fire Inspector, Pottstown PA, Helmet Emblem
Antique Fireman Badge, Fire Inspector, Pottstown PA, Helmet Emblem $35.99
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RARE Antique New South Wales Fire Brigade brass / leather Helmet Rider
RARE Antique New South Wales Fire Brigade brass / leather Helmet Rider $114.85 (18 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 4m

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Brass Fire Fireman helmet Vintage Armour Helmet Replica F
Brass Fire Fireman helmet Vintage Armour Helmet Replica F $109.99
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Helmet fireman antique french FEUERWEHRHELM HELM FIRE HEL original old
Helmet fireman antique french FEUERWEHRHELM HELM FIRE HEL original old $280.00
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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 $15.95
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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
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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 $62.38
Time Remaining: 7d 4h 43m
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" NEWBrass Finish Antique Style Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet
$95.00
Time Remaining: 9d 11h 12m
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