Work Trumpet, "California"

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 brass work trumpet was in use around the early 19th century. The horn is dented and is made of a single piece of brass. A long braided cord is tied around the trumpet near the mouthpiece and attached to a hook by the trumpet’s bell. The word “California” seems to be engraved on the trumpet.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
unknown
maker
unknown
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 17 in; 43.18 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
2005.0233.0834
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0834
subject
Work
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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