During the time of riveted leather hoses, many wealthy fire departments organized hose companies and commissioned fire apparatus manufacturers to build elaborate carriages to carry their fire hoses. By 1870, inexpensive cotton and canvas hoses replaced leather hoses; making lighter hose carts the choice for all fire departments. After this switch, many hose companies ordered highly decorated versions of their old carriages intended for use in parades and ceremonial events.
Following this trend, Henry S. Kip Hose Company No. 1 of Rhinebeck, New York ordered a parade hose carriage. The carriage, after its delivery in September 1893, was immediately displayed in a grand firefighter’s parade, showcasing its beautiful details. It is unknown if this carriage was used for actual service, but it can be assumed that it was intended for parade use due to its intricate nature.
The Rhinebeck Parade Carriage was submitted intomany contests, with its first victory occurring at an event for the Hudson ValleyVolunteer Fireman’s Association of Kingston, New York in 1901. Thiscarriage was used into the late 1950s for competitions and parades.
Sometime in the 1950s, the carriage was purchased by Alfro Case of East Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Case dismantled the carriage with the intention to restore the piece, but the restoration was never completed. Peggy Block of Ridgefield, Connecticut acquired the piece from Case in 1974 to complete the restoration. After being returned to its former glory, Donald Herb of Syracuse, New York purchased the carriage in 2006 and, 13 years later, sold it to the Koorsen Fire Museum.