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 zinc fire mark in 1865. 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 fire mark has been painted red. The Laclede Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company operated from 1859 until 1903.
Currently not on view
date made
place made
United States: Missouri
Physical Description
zinc (overall material)
overall: 5 5/8 in x 7 3/4 in; 14.2875 cm x 19.685 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