Eagle Insurance Company 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 Eagle Insurance Company of Cincinnati, Ohio produced this fire mark in 1850. The oval mark is made of tinned sheet iron and features an image of a flying eagle carrying arrows and olive branches in its talons, with a footer text that reads “INSURANCE CO.” The Eagle Insurance Company operated in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1850 until 1894.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
1850
maker
unknown
Physical Description
tinned sheet iron (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 6 1/2 in x 9 1/2 in; 16.51 cm x 24.13 cm
place made
United States: Ohio, Cincinnati
ID Number
2005.0233.0455
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0455
subject
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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