Episode 11: Inside the Collection

Fire Chief Gordon Nord collects all things related to firefighting.

Jun. 9, 2019

Gordon Nord is the chief of the Lyons Fire Department, in the suburbs of Chicago. A proud Chicagoan and firefighter, Gordon collects all things fire related, from equipment to memorabilia to toys. A firefighter for more than four decades, Gordon has been collecting for just as long.

His extensive collection includes vintage fire extinguishers, antique fireboxes with original inspection cards, fire helmets with shields, and a vintage toy firehouse.

Gordon was joined by his good friend and fellow firefighter Ed Bermann. Firefighter collector Frank McMenamin valued Gordon’s collection for us. Discover more fascinating collections of all kinds on Collector's Call. Stay tuned for season two in 2020!

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1. 1920s Detroit Fire Chief Helmet

Appraised value: $650

These hard-to-find, good-condition vintage helmet shields from Detroit were beautifully hand painted.

2. Chicago Fire Alarm Box

Appraised value: $500

These fire alarm boxes used to be found on the street corners of major cities. 

3. American LaFrance Fire Extinguisher

Appraised value: $300

The oldest extinguisher in Gordon's collection, which was once filled with soda acid, has the instructions engraved into the brass. 

4. 1920s Detroit F.D. Nozzle

Appraised value: $250

Elkhart Brass of Elkhart, Indiana, manufactured this antique nozzle. The company is still in business today. Gordon purchased it for about $20.

5. Chicago Pump-Can Fire Extinguisher

Appraised value: $300

This vintage hand-operated extinguisher can hold five gallons of water.

6. Chicago F.D. Snorkel Helmet Shield

Appraised value: $200

Gordon has about 120 fire shields, largely from Chicago.


7. 1900s Chicago Knurled Nozzle

Appraised value: $250

This antique nozzle from Chicago was manufactured in the repair shops.

8. Chicago Squad Helmet Shields

Appraised value: $250

Squad 13 has been out of service for a long time, which drives up the value and collectibility of these helmet shields.

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