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 around 1855. The oval mark is made of cast iron and features a version of the Great Seal of the United States, with the eagle sitting on the U.S. shield that is over three arrows and an olive branch. There is a banner below that reads “EAGLE INS. Co.” and a second banner reads “CIN. O.” The Eagle Insurance Company operated in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1850 until 1894.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1855
place made
United States: Ohio, Cincinnati
Physical Description
cast iron (overall material)
overall: 7 7/8 in x 11 7/8 in; 20.0533 cm x 30.2133 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Fire Marks
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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