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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
Unknown Maker

Taylor Hose Company Parade Hat, c. 1850
Pressed felt, 6 × 13 1/8 inches
RS 6371


Named after Zachary Taylor (1784–1850), the career army officer who served as twelfth president of the United States from March 4, 1849, to July 9, 1850, the Taylor Hose Company was one of the last Philadelphia volunteer fire companies. Founded around 1847 and located on Howard and Putnam Streets in the city’s Kensington section, the company’s motto was “Soldiers in War, Firemen in Peace.” The initials “J. G.” on the top of this rare parade hat are those of its original owner. The front of the hat is decorated with a painted portrait of Taylor, who was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” because of his rumpled appearance. Taylor became a national hero following significant military victories during the Mexican-American War, around the time that the Taylor Hose Company was founded. Given the martial tone of the company’s motto and the representation of Taylor in a general’s uniform, it is likely that the members admired him first and foremost for his military prowess.

  


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