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



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Cairns Leather N6A Sam Houston Fire Helmet Large NFPA not N5A New Yorker FDNY
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VINTAGE LEATHER FIRE FRONT SHIELD FDNY ENGAINE 11 CAIRNS NICE FIRE HELMET FRONT
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VINTAGE LEATHER FIRE FRONT SHIELD FDNY ENGAINE 273 QUEENS CAIRNS HELMET FRONT
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VINTAGE LEATHER CAIRNS FIRE FRONT SHIELD FDNY ENGAINE 79 BRONX FIRE HELMET FRONT
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Vintage Fire Helmet - Leather Badge -# 12- Fiberglass
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Leather Firefighter Fire Helmet SHIELD FRONT, CUSTOM MADE to Order
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Leather Firefighter Fire Helmet SHIELD FRONT, CUSTOM MADE to Order
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Leather Fire Helmet
Leather Fire Helmet $285.00 (4 Bids)
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US Army war baby RARE leather Fire Helmet front-fireman, firefighter, not FDNY
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1961 Weehawken, NJ Fire Department Deputy Chief Leather Helmet
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leather fire helmet rescue medic paramedic fire department memorabilia antique
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HAMILTON FD LIEUT HELMET LEATHER SHIELD CAIRNS & BROTHERS FIRE HELMET #22
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Amazing Custom Leather Fire Helmet-Your Design!-LOOK!!! Leather Firefighter!!
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Fireman Helmut Leather Badge Port Washington Fire Department #1 Chief? Cairns
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EARLY 1900'S CAIRNS & BROTHER, HIGH EAGLE, LEATHER FIRE HELMET
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HOT LEATHERS HALF HELMET RODIA BLACK WITH FIRE RED FLAMES LARGE IN BOX BIKE
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