Presentation Trumpet, "Weccacoe Fire Company"

Description (Brief)
As more American volunteer fire fighting companies began to form during the late 18th century, a need emerged for better organized efforts in combating conflagrations. Engineers and officers would use “speaking trumpets” to amplify their voices over the noise and commotion of a fire scene to direct the company in effectively fighting the blaze. Two trumpet variants are reflected in the collection: plain and functional “working” trumpets that were actively used at fires, and highly decorated “presentation” trumpets. Presentation trumpets were awarded to firefighters in honor of their service, or between fire companies during visits, competitions, and musters.
This trumpet was presented to the Weccacoe Fire Company of Camden, New Jersey by the citizens of Camden, New Jersey in 1837. The trumpet is in two sections, the shaft has a crenulated edge at the base with a raised leaf band. The trumpet has a stippled background overall, with raised floral engravings throughout. A shield bears the inscription “Presented to Weccacoe Fire Company by Citizens of Camden, N.J. October 5th 1837.” Below the inscription is an image of a fire house (possibly Weccacoe’s) engraved in an oval cartouche. The trumpet has two hooks that would have been used to attach a cord. The Weccacoe Fire Company operated in Camden, New Jersey from 1800 to 1854.
Currently not on view
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
ca 1837
Physical Description
silver plate (overall material)
overall: 20 in x 3 1/2 in; 50.8 cm x 8.89 cm
place made
United States
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey, Camden county
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Speaking Trumpets
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Firefighting Collection
Speaking Trumpets
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
Additional Media

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