Presentation Trumpet, "Robert Morris Hose Co."

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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 trumpet was used by the Robert Morris Hose Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the 19th century. The bell of the trumpet is silver plated and there are three silver bands around the trumpet’s shaft. Two rings are attached to the trumpet’s shaft to allow for a cord to be strung from the trumpet. An inscription on the trumpet reads “Robt. Morris H. Co. 1st line.” Robert Morris was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a major financier of the Revolutionary War.
Currently not on view
date made
19th century
place made
United States
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
silver plated (part: bell material)
overall: 15 1/4 in x 6 in; 38.735 cm x 15.24 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
Speaking Trumpets
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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