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 Gilt Copper 1800s early 1900s FIRE Firefighting BADGE w Helmet
ANTIQUE Gilt Copper 1800s early 1900s FIRE Firefighting BADGE w Helmet $29.99
Time Remaining: 16h 46m

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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 $12.95
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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 $3.67
Time Remaining: 20h 59m

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Antique Vintage Chief Fire Helmet Cairns & Brother Inc.
Antique Vintage Chief Fire Helmet Cairns & Brother Inc. $459.99 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 12h 43m

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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 17h 59m
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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 $29.88
Time Remaining: 1d 21h 8m
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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: 2d 6h 15m
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ANTIQUE VINTAGE Cairns And Brother Fire Helmet WITH EYE FACE SHIELD VERY NICE!
ANTIQUE VINTAGE Cairns And Brother Fire Helmet WITH EYE FACE SHIELD VERY NICE! $195.00
Time Remaining: 2d 15h 59m
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Set of 2 Antique Rare Olson X-49 Fire Alarm With Thermometer
Set of 2 Antique Rare Olson X-49 Fire Alarm With Thermometer $4.99
Time Remaining: 2d 22h 7m

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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: 3d 8h 8m
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Antique Cairns Fire Helmet
Antique Cairns Fire Helmet $350.00
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 45m

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Antique Vintage 1800's LCFD ENGINE 5 Metal Fire Helmet Cairns & Brother Inc.'s
Antique Vintage 1800's LCFD ENGINE 5 Metal Fire Helmet Cairns & Brother Inc.'s $50.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 46m

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ANTIQUE LEATHER FIRE HELMET SHIELD Ambulance 14 firefighter fire department
ANTIQUE LEATHER FIRE HELMET SHIELD Ambulance 14 firefighter fire department $52.00 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 10h 1m

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Vintage Antique fiberglass MSA fire helmet (Marked US FD)
Vintage Antique fiberglass MSA fire helmet (Marked US FD) $57.00
Time Remaining: 6d 8h 58m

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Antique Fire Helmet Fire Fighters Helmet 1920
Antique Fire Helmet  Fire Fighters Helmet 1920 $99.00
Time Remaining: 6d 14h 3m

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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: 6d 19h 58m
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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: 6d 22h 59m

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VINTAGE FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER DEPT CO WALL PLAQUE ANTIQUE FIRE TRUCK SHIELD HELMET
VINTAGE FIREMAN FIREFIGHTER DEPT CO WALL PLAQUE ANTIQUE FIRE TRUCK SHIELD HELMET $224.95
Time Remaining: 8d 4h 48m
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Vintage Antique Finish Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet with Wood Stand
Vintage Antique Finish Fire Man Fire Fighter Fire Chief Helmet with Wood Stand $95.00
Time Remaining: 8d 13h 4m
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