Laclede 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 Laclede Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company of St. Louis, Missouri issued this tinned sheet iron fire mark in 1859. The oval mark has a raised image of two hands shaking in the center of the mark, with the raised text “LACLEDE/MUTUAL” around the rim. The Laclede Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company operated from 1859 until 1903.
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
Physical Description
tinned sheet iron (overall material)
overall: 4 1/2 in x 7 1/4 in; 11.43 cm x 18.415 cm
place made
United States: Missouri
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Fire Marks
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

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.