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 German leather fire helmet
Antique German leather fire helmet $150.00
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Vintage Black Meduim Cairns New Yorker Leather 5A Fireman Fire Helmet
Vintage Black Meduim Cairns New Yorker Leather 5A Fireman Fire Helmet $320.00 (4 Bids)
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CAIRNS & BROS. VINTAGE LEATHER FIRE HELMET - EX COND.!! A BEAUTY!!
CAIRNS & BROS. VINTAGE LEATHER FIRE HELMET - EX COND.!!  A BEAUTY!! $355.00 (3 Bids)
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CAIRNS & BROS. VINTAGE LEATHER FIRE HELMET - EX COND.!! A BEAUTY!!
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CAIRNS & BROS. VINTAGE LEATHER FIRE HELMET - EX COND.!! A BEAUTY!!
CAIRNS & BROS. VINTAGE LEATHER FIRE HELMET - EX COND.!!  A BEAUTY!! $280.01 (2 Bids)
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Vintage West German Red Fire Helmet w/Leather Liner Rare !!
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CAIRNS AND BRO LEATHER FIRE HELMET N5A
CAIRNS AND BRO LEATHER FIRE HELMET N5A $305.00 (14 Bids)
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Vintage Firefighting Helmet badge, Leather Fire Rescue, Colorado, Milliken
Vintage Firefighting Helmet badge, Leather Fire Rescue, Colorado, Milliken $50.00
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Custom Made Leather Firefighter Helmet Shield Fire Department Front
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Custom Made Leather Firefighter Helmet Shield Fire Department Front
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VINTAGE FIRE FIGHTER HELMET WITH LEATHER SHEILD AND FACE PROTECTOR FIREMAN
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Awesome Custom Chicago Blackhawks Fire Helmet!Like Leather Firefighter Helmet!
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1860s Leather Fire Helmet W/Brass Eagle Crown
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CAIRNS LEATHER FIRE HELMET SIZE LARGE
CAIRNS LEATHER FIRE HELMET SIZE LARGE $410.00 (11 Bids)
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CAIRNS LEATHER FIRE HELMET SIZE LARGE
CAIRNS LEATHER FIRE HELMET SIZE  LARGE $355.00 (26 Bids)
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CAIRNS BROTHER LEATHER ANTIQUE FIRE HELMET MELROSE MASS NO 1
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"Maryland" Fire Helmet Wrap
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HOT LEATHERS HALF HELMET RODIA BLACK WITH FIRE RED FLAMES LARGE IN BOX BIKE
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Cairns Leather Fire Helmet N6A Medium
Cairns Leather Fire Helmet N6A Medium $415.00 (22 Bids)
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Leather Fire Helmet Fireman Vintage Hat Cairns & Brothers Ridgefield Park NJ FD
Leather Fire Helmet Fireman Vintage Hat Cairns & Brothers Ridgefield Park NJ FD $750.00
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