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



German fire fighter Stahlhelm helmet with leather liner
German fire fighter Stahlhelm helmet with leather liner $49.95
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Cairns & Brother Fiberglass Fire Helmet SSFD leather badge Plegtron Mask Vtg Old
Cairns & Brother Fiberglass Fire Helmet SSFD leather badge Plegtron Mask Vtg Old $200.00
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VINTAGE YELLOW WEF Co. FIRE HELMET...LEATHER PATCH
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1965/67 Cairns & Brother 4 Comb Leather Fire Helmet
1965/67 Cairns & Brother 4 Comb Leather Fire Helmet $499.00
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Vintage 1940's Carins Plastic & Leather Fire Helmet - "West End" PFD
Vintage 1940's Carins Plastic & Leather Fire Helmet - $99.00
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London Fire Brigade leather fire helmet
London Fire Brigade leather fire helmet $50.00
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vintage Leather fire Hat / Helmet made by Anderson & Jones new york
vintage Leather fire Hat / Helmet made by Anderson & Jones new york $383.30 (12 Bids)
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BOHEMIA FIRE DEPARTMENT STITCHED BLACK & RED LEATHER HELMET SHIELD NOS
BOHEMIA FIRE DEPARTMENT STITCHED BLACK & RED LEATHER HELMET SHIELD NOS $9.00
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SOUTHWEST UNITED FIRE DEPTS ASSISTANT CHIEF STITCHED LEATHER HELMET SHIELD NOS
SOUTHWEST UNITED FIRE DEPTS ASSISTANT CHIEF STITCHED LEATHER HELMET SHIELD NOS $9.00
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SOUTHWEST UNITED FIRE DEPTS 2nd LIEUTENANT STITCHED LEATHER HELMET SHIELD NOS
SOUTHWEST UNITED FIRE DEPTS 2nd LIEUTENANT STITCHED LEATHER HELMET SHIELD NOS $9.00
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Vintage Cairns leather firemans fire helmet with badge NY state
Vintage Cairns leather firemans fire helmet with badge NY state $299.99
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Antique Leather Chicago Fire Dept. Helmet
Antique Leather Chicago Fire Dept. Helmet $1,000.00 (24 Bids)
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Cairns & Brother Vintage Leather and Metal Fire Helmet
Cairns & Brother Vintage Leather and Metal Fire Helmet $400.00
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Cairns No 5A leather fire helmet Chicago Fire Department Chaplain Fire Isle dept
Cairns No 5A leather fire helmet Chicago Fire Department Chaplain Fire Isle dept $321.00 (28 Bids)
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Vintage Blue Fire Fireman's Hat Helmet Firefighter Fiberglass VTG Leather Strap
 Vintage Blue Fire Fireman's Hat Helmet Firefighter Fiberglass VTG Leather Strap $19.99
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Vintage CHICAGO FIRE DEPT Cairns & Bros. Leather Fire Helmet Pre -1947
 Vintage CHICAGO FIRE DEPT Cairns & Bros. Leather Fire Helmet Pre -1947  $46.00 (4 Bids)
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92 Cairns leather fire helmet N5A size Large
92 Cairns leather fire helmet N5A size Large $350.00
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1950's original white Cairns 5a leather fire chiefs helmet, University of Kansas
1950's original white Cairns 5a leather fire chiefs helmet, University of Kansas $152.50 (5 Bids)
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PFD Rescue 4 fire helmet front-Leather firefighter-fireman-Cairns-Not FDNY
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NEW! White Cairns N5A New Yorker Leather Fire Helmet Size Large Deluxe
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