The Origins of the Fire Helmet

ondeckThe firefighter helmet is one of the most iconic symbols of the emergency service profession.

Believe it or not, the fire helmet was first introduced in 1739 as a leather hat. Jacob Turk, a gunsmith who would later become the head of the New York Fire Department, was the man to champion the invention.

Almost 100 years later, luggage maker Henry Gratacap would retool the design into something similar to the helmets we have today. The iconic design, inspired by jockeys who wore their hats backwards, featured a special durable type of leather, and a design that would protect firefighters from debris. The hat’s hard crown could even be used as a tool for breaking windows!

The traditional fire helmet is certainly one of the most significant tools of the trade. To learn more about the transformation of the fire helmet, see our blog post The Evolution of the Fire Helmet.

Click here to view the complete Fire-Dex helmet line. 

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