Insurance Company of North America 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.
This fire mark is an example of the type that the Insurance Company of North America produced between 1929 and 1942 for the Chinese market. The circular mark has a red background in the center which bears the INA Eagle and the inscription I.N.A./1792. Outside the red center is the text “INSURANCE Co., OF NORTH AMERICA” at the top and Kanji script at the bottom.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1929-1932
Physical Description
tinned sheet iron (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 6 5/32 in; 15.621 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.0570
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0570
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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