Kenton 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 Kenton Insurance Company of Covington, Kentucky issued this tinned sheet iron fire mark in 1867. The rectangular mark has a raised border with raised central text that reads “KENTON/KENTUCKY.” The company was originally incorporated as the City Fire and Marine of Louisville in 1860. In 1867 the charter was amended, and the name was changed to Kenton Insurance Company. Kenton operated until 1891, when it retired and reinsured in the National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1867
maker
unknown
Physical Description
tinned sheet iron (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4 5/8 in x 6 5/8 in; 11.7475 cm x 16.8275 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.0539
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0539
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
subject
Fire Fighting
Insurance
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Work
Cultures & Communities
Advertising
Firefighting Collection
Fire Marks
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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