St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine 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 St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company issued this zinc fire mark in 1851. The fire mark is in the shape of a banner, and features the raised text “ST. LOUIS/MUTUAL.” There are tabs on either side of the fire mark that are used to hang the mark. The St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company operated from 1851 until 1901.
Currently not on view
date made
place made
United States: Missouri
Physical Description
zinc (overall material)
overall: 4 in x 7 in; 10.16 cm x 17.78 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