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

Fire Helmet, c. 1850
Leather, 8 3/4 × 11 × 14 1/2 inches
References: Garvan and Wojtowicz 1977, 132, illus.
RS 6322


White helmets such as this example were worn only by chief engineers and their assistants so they could be readily identified in a fire. This hat is made of eight strips of leather sewn together to create protruding seams known as combs. The front comb is ornamented with a brass eagle that once held a shield bearing the name of the fire company to which the hat’s owner belonged.

  


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