City Mutual Fire 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 City Mutual Fire Insurance Company of St. Louis, Missouri issued this zinc fire mark around 1861. The oval mark features raised text that reads “CITY/MUTUAL.” The fire mark has been damaged on its left side. The City Mutual Fire Insurance Company operated in St. Louis from 1861 until 1878.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1861
Physical Description
zinc (overall material)
overall: 5 3/4 in x 8 in; 14.605 cm x 20.32 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
Fire Fighting
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