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 tin work trumpet was made around 1800. The metal trumpet is painted yellow, but the paint has chipped and flaked in many places. Two small rings on the top and bottom of the shaft would have been used to attach a cord to the trumpet.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
1800
maker
unknown
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 18 in x 6 1/4 in; 45.72 cm x 15.875 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
2005.0233.0878
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0878
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Work
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Speaking Trumpets
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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