Work Trumpet

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 nickel-plated brass speaking trumpet is unadorned and was in use during the second half of the 19th century. Two rings are attached to the trumpet’s shaft, and a leather strap is buckled through the rings to form a handle. The trumpet has no inscriptions and shows wear in a variety of places.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
ca 1890-1915
maker
unknown
Physical Description
brass, nickel plated (overall material)
leather (part: handle material)
Measurements
overall: 11 3/4 in x 5 3/8 in; 29.845 cm x 13.6525 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
2005.0233.0852
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0852
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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