Leather Fire Helmet

The leather fire helmet occupies an honored place in the history of modern firefighting. It is an American invention, and the original manufacturer still makes the same helmet today.

The first New York municipal fire brigade started in 1731 equipped with two technological marvels of the day, state-of-the-art pump trucks imported at great expense from London. The leader of the brigade was Jacobus Turck, a man with an inventive mind and a determination to ensure the safety of his firefighters. In the 1730's Turck invented a leather fire hat of the "stovepipe" design to keep the cinders off a fireman's head. While it certainly did that, this hat was too tall and could be knocked off in the rigors of firefighting. Another disadvantage was that these early fire hats were not reinforced with metal, therefore providing little protection to the fireman's head in the event of a blow from above.

In 1836 a luggage maker and volunteer fireman named Henry T. Gratacap invented a leather fire helmet that became the prototype for all future fire headgear. Gratacap had already gained a reputation for manufacturing sturdy, well-made luggage, and he used the same skills and materials to make his fire helmet. The result was a low, dome-shaped helmet made of leather reinforced with metal "combs" for added strength. There was a shield-shaped plate on the front and a brim that tapered downward toward the back to keep water out of the fireman's face.

Early leather fire helmets were made by the Cairns and Brother company. Their product, made according to Gratacap's design, was called the New Yorker and is now the standard design for fire helmets all over the world. The Cairns company is still in business today and their product is virtually unchanged since its birth in the 19th century.

Also check out: Cairns Leather Fire Helmet

Leather Fire Helmet for Sale



Early Cairns & Bro. Captain’s Leather Fire Helmet Shield - California
Early Cairns & Bro. Captain’s Leather Fire Helmet Shield - California $29.00
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CAIRNS & BROS LEATHER FIRE DEPT HELMET N5A
CAIRNS & BROS LEATHER FIRE DEPT HELMET N5A $295.00 (11 Bids)
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Antique Leather Fire Helmet
Antique Leather Fire Helmet $251.99 (9 Bids)
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Fire Helmet Woodbridge CT Firefighter Vintage Leather
Fire Helmet Woodbridge CT Firefighter Vintage Leather $225.00 (1 Bid)
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Leather fire helmet shield front OLD STYLE
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Vintage Fireman's hat. LIEUTENANT 1 FFD on the leather badge. Falmouth Fire Dept
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Black leather fireman helmet, Islip Terrace Fire D Lot 52
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Birmingham Fire Department Leather Helmet Badge Fire Marshal RARE Michigan
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VINTAGE FIREFIGHTERS LEATHER HELMET SHIELD FIRE CHIEF HOT POINT NEW YORK 1978
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NEW LEATHER FIRE HELMET SHIELD - SQUAD 65 - SHFD
NEW LEATHER FIRE HELMET SHIELD - SQUAD 65 - SHFD $25.99
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German WW2 LUFTSCHUTZ FIRE POLICE HELMET W/ Leather Liner + Chinstrap Vtg RARE
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Custom Fire Helmet Shield Leather - Made to Order
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Vintage Cairns-Brothers-Manhattan-Leather-Fire-Ice-Bucket-Fireman NEW YORK METS
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Rare Vintiage 1800s Leather FIre Firemans Parade Belt Cataract 2 Helmet Hat
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Windsor Truck Co Fire Department Helmet Leather Head Badge Carnes
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Vtg WWI GERMAN WW1 Leather FIRE HELMET w Hat Badge
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Rare Vintiage 1800s Leather FIre Firemans Parade Belt HUMANE Helmet Hat
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CAIRNS CONWAY LEATHER FIRE HELMET FRONTS FIREFIGHTER GEAR
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CAIRNS CONWAY RARE VIRGINIA LEATHER FIRE HELMET FRONTS FIREFIGHTER GEAR
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Cairns Leather Fire Helmet 1978 Fully Restored. Great condition. FAST ship!
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Time Remaining: 2d 4h 19m
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