Fire Hat from the Taylor Hose Company, Philadelphia, Circa 1849

This stove pipe hat, made of pressed felt, features a portrait of Zachary Taylor on the front. Zachary Taylor was considered a national hero of the Mexican American War and became the twelfth President of the United States from 1849 until 1850. The company’s initials“T.H.” are painted in gold on the back of the hat. The crown has an eight pointed star with a bell in the center to depict the bell codes for fires in Philadelphia. The initials “S.Y.” in the center of the bell identify the owner of the hat.  The hat is in good condition retaining the original blue painted background with red highlights and the original decorations the front, back, and crown. Another hat from the Taylor Hose Company is in the collection of the National Museum of American History., Washington, D.C.

The Taylor Hose Company was founded May 1,1847 and subsequently became the General Taylor Steam Forcing Hose Company in 1864, remaining in operation until 1871. In 1849, the sixty-six Philadelphia fire companies marched in the May Day parade showing their decorated hose carts, wearing their finest uniforms and hats.  explains the Taylor Hose Company was at the end of the parade because it was the newest fire company, however the 34 members in the brigade were dressed in their new uniforms with the gaudily painted hats featuring a portrait of Zachary Taylor.   Provenance:  Deaccessioned from the Camden County Historical Society                       13½ ″ by 14½″  Height:  6″