• On February 10, 1863, the fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane.
  • On Jan. 1, 1853, the first practical fire engine was tested in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • On April 21, 1878, the nation’s first firehouse pole was installed in New York City.
  • On May 30, 1821, the first rubber-lined cotton web fire hose was patented by Joseph Boyd of Boston.
  • On May 7, 1878, the fire escape ladder was patented by Joseph Winters.
  • On November 11, 1890, Daniel McCree of Chicago invented a portable fire escape ladder (U.S. Patent #440,322 – see below).
  • During World War II, Percy Julian used a soy protein to produce AeroFoam, which suffocates gasoline and oil fires.
  • Photo 1860 Fire Hose Reel

Fire Departments: The history of the fire service in the United States begins in New Amsterdam (later called New York).

More Fire Equipment Related Firsts & FAQ: Read about the history of fire prevention week, the first fire pole, the first fire alarm and more.

National Fire Sprinkler Association: This site contains information on fire sprinklers, commercial and residential.

Smoke Detectors: There are two types of smoke detector: photoelectric and ionization. The first battery-operated home smoke detector was patented in 1969 by Randolph Smith and Kenneth House.