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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Independent Mirror

Independent Mirror

My Aunt Rose took this picture during a parade in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, most likely in the late 1930s. I don't know the occasion, but I'm sure it was Quakertown because of a sign in an accompanying photo. I must have looked at this picture for several minutes, marveling at the huge wooden wheels and the fancy brass work, before I noticed that the hose reel, if that's what it is, has a mirror in it! You can see part of a brick house across the street and behind Aunt Rose.

That's quite a piece of firefighting equipment, but I wonder about the mirror, the duplicate of which (mirror image?) must surely be on the other side.

Does anyone know exactly what this contraption is? The word "Independent" appears on the hub of the reel. View full size.

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re: Independent Mirror

This is a hand-drawn four-wheel hose cart. I've found some similar ones online (including one with a mirrored reel on this page) that are dated 1870-1880. An antique probably being wheeled out for a parade or other celebration.

New category

Wow! There should be a new category on Shorpy--Contraptions!
There have been several of them, some unidentifiable. This one has got to be the fanciest though.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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