Work Trumpet, "P.L.C."

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 dates to the 19th century. The unadorned trumpet has two bands around the upper and lower portions of the shaft. Two rings hang from the shaft, allowing a cord to be attached the trumpet. This mouthpiece has become detached from the trumpet, and the shaft is engraved with the initials “PLC.”
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
unknown
maker
unknown
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 17 in x 7 1/4 in; 43.18 cm x 18.415 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
2005.0233.0891
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0891
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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