Innovation of the Era!
Mid to Late 1900s

Top Hat and Tails?

Fire companies started to develop their own unique dress uniforms for parading. These uniforms would usually consist of a stove pipe or top hat and a cape-type garment worn over a jacket and trousers. The stove pipe hats and capes were usually adorned with patriotic symbols of the day and/or the company name.
Parade stove pipe hats, such as this one, were often decorated with patriotic symbols of the day, such as an eagle, Miss Liberty or the American flag.
This graphic shows the fancy parade dress of firefighters during the 1700's. It also shows the speaking trumpet used by firefighters during this time period to shout orders to other firefighters.