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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.

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