Wooden wheel from 1910 antique fire truck phtograph in San Jose, Costa Rica

  Fire Truck World - Antique Fire-fighting Equipment Photography

Fire truck museums in Australia and New Zealand


Fire  Apparatus Museums

 

There are hundreds of fire museums around the world ranging from large to small.  All are worthy of a visit and our support as fire fighting is an important part of history that most people will find interesting and informative, regardless of age.  Fire truck World is extremely grateful to these museums, as numerous photographs in this website were taken at fire museums.  

 

For an excellent source for finding fire museums visit:  www.firemuseumnetwork.org  Their "Directory of Fire Museums" lists museums ranging from spare rooms in a firehouse basement to magnificient first-class instituions with ware-house-like proportion. Listings include U.S  and International locations.

 

In gratitude for those museums which I was fortunate to have visited, here is my brief description of their facitilites:

 

Hall of Flame, Phoenix Arizona. Known for being America's biggest fire museum, it does not disappoint.  With numerous Galleries of fire trucks and fire memorabilia to roam around, the Hall of Flame is well 'signed' providing informative descriptions of the 65-70 fire engines on display and interesting collections of fire related memorabilia as well.  (Their excellent descriptions have been used on all the images of their apparatus represented here). Their collection of fire trucks is made up of a majority of early fire engines.  The museum provides a loose-leaf notebook to visitors to carry along with them with all the descriptions and history of their exhibits.  A copy of this is for sale as well as a great reminder of the visit.  Hall of Flame also has a souvenir shop for both adults and children to top off the day.  Highly recommended.  Allow at least two hours to visit the museum and 3 hours would be even better.

 

FASNY Museum of Firefighting. Hudson, New York.  Also known as America's largest fire museum.  It also doesn't diappoint with their huge collection of fire trucks and memorbilia.  With well over 50 different fire engines, their maze of galleries is an A to Z of fire apparatus and selective collections of memorabilia.  There is a great variety of early apparatus and some truly spectacular parade carriages. Signs with descriptions of each fire vehicle are placed near each engine.  They maintain a gift and souvenir shop as well.  Allow at least two hours to visit the entire museum, and once again 3 hours would be better. 

 

Fire Museum of Maryland, Lutherville, Maryland.  An excellent museum with over 40 antique fire engines on exhibit, plus an impressive fire alarm office, vintage photographs, firefighting related art work, patent models, an 1871 Restored Fire House Facade and a research center.  It is a well-organized museum and is one of the top five fire museums in the U.S. today. Two hours should be allowed to thouroughly see this museum.  Also highly recommended.

 

Utah Museum of Fire Service History and Firefighter Memorial, Salt Lake City, Utah.  This museum holds approximately 45 antique fire engines, mostly between the late 1920's and 1970.  Their exhibits are not roped off, offering more of a 'hands-on' experience. Most engines look as if they are still in running condition.  They have a nice collection of portable fire extinguishers as well.  Small signs tell the maker, model and year of most engines, but not all.  The museum's curator, David Hammond, is happy to provide more info if desired.  Recommended for the fire buff who happens to be driving through the area and wants to see some great fire engines.  An hour and a half to 2 hours would be adequate.

 

Last Resort Fire Department, Seattle, Washington.  This small museum is part of the downtown fire station in Seattle housing about 10 vintage fire engines.  It is literally just a walk-in if passing by.  Quite a pleasant surprise for anyone who did not know it was there.  About a half hour would be plenty to see the entire museum.  Part of the Last Resort Fire Department museum is their Maintenance Shop, which is not located downtown.  The maintaenace shop houses another 15 or so trucks.  The shop owner takes them out for several parades and musters during the year.  How he gets them in and out is a mystery, as at the shop, everything seems to be a tight fit.  The Maintenance Shop is not always open, but is certainly worth the effort to visit it when it is open.

 

Overseas Fire Museums

 

Museum of Fire, Sydney Ausralia.  An excellent museum jam-packed with about 75 vintage fire engines and fire memorabilia from Australia and around the world.  The museum is not large enough to house all of their collection at one time, so they rotate exhibits from time to time.  This museum is one of the top museums in the world and is highly recommended if visiting Australia.  Three hours should be allowed to fully see the entire museum.

 

Fire Services Museum Victoria, Melborne, Australia.  Museum focuses on the history of fire fighting services in Victoria, Australia.  The museum includes a collection of over 10,000 fire related items, the largest collection in Australia, featuring fire brigades, fire appliances, personnel histories, and fire memorabilia.  Their collection includes approximately 100 fire engines, dating fromt the 1860's to the 2000's.  Only a small number of these are always on display at the 1893 HQ fire station.  The rest is hosed in their Newport facility.  Allow two hours or more for visiting this museum which is highly recommended if visiting the Melborne area.

   

MOTAT in Auckland, New Zealand is New Zealand's largerst transport and technology museum.  It has over 300,000 objects on display with a good section on fire-fighting.  This museum is of great interest to those interested in much more than just fire engines and is a must if visiting New Zealand.  Easy to spend the entire day checking out all they have on exhibit.

 

Yaldhurst Museum of Transport & Science in Christchurch, New Zealand.  This is a private owned museum and besides a great collection of vintage fire trucks it has exhibits of classic cars, bicycles, gas pumps, horse drawn apparatus, motors and much more.  A good half day would be needed to see it all.

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