Insurance Company of North America Fire Mark

Description (Brief)
Beginning in the 1750s, some American insurance companies issued metal fire marks to policyholders to signify that their property was insured against fire damage. The fire marks bore the name and/or symbol of the insurer, and some included the customer’s policy number. The company or agent would then affix the mark to the policyholder’s home or business. For owners the mark served as proof of insurance and a deterrent against arson. For insurance companies the mark served as a form of advertising, and alerted volunteer firefighters that the property was insured.
The Insurance Company of North America offered this fire mark to their policyholders around 1800. This fire mark is based on the designs of Claudius Francis LeGrand, consisting of an image of a spread-winged eagle rising from a cloud embossed upon a copper oval. A group of influential citizens in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania founded the Insurance Company of North America in 1792. A group of influential citizens in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania founded the Insurance Company of North America in 1792. The INA was the first joint stock insurance company in the United States, and focused its business on marine and fire insurance. The Insurance Company of North America and related companies merged with the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company in 1982 to become the CIGNA Corporation. A later sale made INA a part of ACE Holdings, where it still operates today.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
ca 1800
maker
unknown
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 11 5/8 in x 9 in; 29.5275 cm x 22.86 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
2005.0233.0387
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0387
subject
Fire Fighting
Advertising
Work
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Fire Marks
Insurance
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Firefighting Collection
Fire Marks
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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