The FMOT’s collections include an impressive compliment of firefighting apparatus and equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries. You will be amazed to see hand-cranked aerial ladders, life safety nets, nozzles, extinguishers, telegraph equipment, and more!
And you won’t just be impressed by our collections! A major draw for visitors every day is the World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant. People come from all over the world just to get their picture with the 24-foot, dalmatian-spotted hydrant and the FMOT’s other attractions.
The FMOT houses one of the most comprehensive collections of fire service apparatus and artifacts in the United States. Permanent exhibits trace the history and evolution of the fire apparatus from bucket brigades, to 19th century hand pumpers and steam fire engines, to motorized apparatus of the 20th century.
It’s always a great day at the Fire Museum of Texas!
View an 1856 Howe hand-drawn tub pumper, 1909 American LaFrance hand-cranked aerial ladder, 1923 American LaFrance fire engine, and more! Specialty apparatus includes a 1931 REO Search Light Truck–the first ever constructed in the United States–designed and built by Beaumont firefighters in the same building that now houses the FMOT!
Explore antique fire equipment and see how the fire service has evolved. Learn how historic Texas disasters like the 1937 New London School Explosion and the 1947 Texas City Disaster literally changed the course of history and impacted the way fires are fought today. Check out the Fire Departments of the World exhibit to see the similarities and differences between fire departments from around the globe!
The FMOT partners with both the Tyrrell Historical Library and the University of North Texas Portal to Texas History to conserve and share our photograph, postcard, patch and document collections. Follow the links below to explore these pieces of fire service history!
The FMOT installs temporary exhibits during the year to offer differing perspectives and insight into fire service history. Temporary exhibits can focus on interpreting aspects of significant historic events, like the 1947 Texas City Explosion, in greater detail. They can also tell visitors more about how specific firefighting equipment or tactics have evolved over time, or even how a a big, brown bear became a symbol for preventing forest fires!
To find out more about current or upcoming temporary exhibits, check out the FMOT Calendar.
World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant!
Now that’s a giant fire hydrant! The World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant is 24-feet tall and weighs over 4,500 pounds. Made of fiberglass, and reinforced with 100 feet of steel–up to 1,500 gallons of water per minute can flow through a sprinkler mounted on the top of the hydrant. This dalmatian-spotted hydrant is a photo-op must!
Designed and constructed in California at Disneyland, the hydrant was used as a prop for the re-release of the Disney video, “101 Dalmatians.” In 1999, one hundred and one Beaumont firefighters dancing in bunker gear with dalmatian-spotted umbrellas made the unveiling of the hydrant at the FMOT an amazing event!
State of Texas Firefighter Memorial
Designed and sculpted in bronze by artist Ron Petit, the State of Texas Firefighter Memorial was unveiled in 2010. The life-size statue honors the selfless service of all Texas firefighters, and is dedicated to all career, volunteer and industrial firefighters who have served in the State of Texas.
The bronze sculpture weighs approximately 400 pounds and is mounted on a black marble pedestal. The memorial is located on the grounds of the FMOT in the C.A. Shelton Plaza.
On September 11, 2001, 343 New York City firefighters, 23 NYPD police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers lost their lives while trying to save others during the worst terrorist attack to occur in the United States.
A piece of a metal I-beam and debris from the World Trade Center, black and silver memorial hydrant, and a stainless steel New York City skyline showing World Trade Center buildings 1 & 2 before the attack, highlight the FMOT’s 9-11 memorial. We remember their sacrifice. We will never forget.
Firefighter Commemorative Brick WalkwayCommemorative and memorial engraved bricks are installed on the walkways around the C.A. Shelton Plaza. Engraved bricks may be purchased in the following categories:
- Fallen Firefighters
- Retired Firefighters
- “In Memory of” a Firefighter
- Texas Fire Departments or related organizations
Engraved bricks are priced at $100 each installed, and may be purchased on-line through the Firehouse Giftshop.