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



Antique Leather Plate Fireman Helmet Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department
Antique Leather Plate Fireman Helmet Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department $69.99
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Fire helmet new leather Cairns wearable 2006 fireman fire dept.
Fire helmet new leather Cairns wearable 2006 fireman fire dept. $400.00 (16 Bids)
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Custom Made Leather Firefighter Helmet Shield Fire Department Front
Custom Made Leather Firefighter Helmet Shield Fire Department Front $85.00
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Custom Made Leather Firefighter Helmet Shield Fire Department Front
Custom Made Leather Firefighter Helmet Shield Fire Department Front $85.00
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ANTIQUE CAIRNS & BRO LEATHER FIRE FIREMEN'S HAT HELMET PAT # 1,889,537 ST. JAMES
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PAUL CONWAY LEATHER FIRE HELMET FRONTS FIREFIGHTER GEAR SHIELD
PAUL CONWAY  LEATHER FIRE HELMET FRONTS FIREFIGHTER GEAR SHIELD $15.00
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Leather Fire Helmet ( CAIRNS )
Leather Fire Helmet ( CAIRNS ) $995.00
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Cairns Brothers Leather Fire Helmet
Cairns Brothers Leather Fire Helmet $330.00
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1965/67 Cairns & Brother 4 Comb Leather Fire Helmet
1965/67 Cairns & Brother 4 Comb Leather Fire Helmet $450.00
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Vintage Cairns Leather Fire Helmet
Vintage Cairns Leather Fire Helmet $310.00
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Vintage Cairns Leather Fire Helmet
Vintage Cairns Leather Fire Helmet $355.00
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Cairns N6A Sam Houston Leather Fire Helmet
Cairns N6A Sam Houston Leather Fire Helmet $350.00 (9 Bids)
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Cairns and Brother Leather Fire Helmet Scarce Volunteer Model w/ Short Brim
Cairns and Brother Leather Fire Helmet Scarce Volunteer Model w/ Short Brim $127.50 (4 Bids)
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VINTAGE Montreal Leather Fire Helmet Front
VINTAGE Montreal Leather Fire Helmet Front $9.99
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1978 Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Souvenir Leather Helmet Front REGINA
1978 Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Souvenir Leather Helmet Front REGINA $9.99 (1 Bid)
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Canada Car and Foundry Company Railroad Leather Fire Helmet Front
Canada Car and Foundry Company Railroad Leather Fire Helmet Front $19.38 (3 Bids)
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Leather Fire Helmet Front HOSEMAN 23 MFD Montreal?
Leather Fire Helmet Front HOSEMAN 23 MFD Montreal? $9.99
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Leather Fire Helmet Front FOREMAN 5 MFD Montreal?
Leather Fire Helmet Front FOREMAN 5 MFD Montreal? $9.99
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Vintage Leather Montreal SIMFS Fire Dept. Helmet front piece 50
Vintage Leather Montreal SIMFS Fire Dept. Helmet front piece 50 $9.99 (1 Bid)
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CAIRNS & BROTHER Leather Fire Helmet Sz.Medium
CAIRNS & BROTHER Leather Fire Helmet     Sz.Medium $224.99
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