Presentation 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 presentation trumpet dates to the middle of the 19th century. The shaft has a floral design in the shape of an oval frame with an open space in the center for an engraving. The bell has a floral band with four ovals spaced evenly throughout. Two of the ovals have an engraved image of crossed trumpets behind a fire helmet, and two ovals are blank. A braided tan cord is attached to the trumpet through two rings protruding from the shaft.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
mid 19th century
maker
unknown
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
pewter (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 9 7/8 in x 7 in; 25.0825 cm x 17.78 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
2005.0233.0913
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0913
subject
Work
Firefighting Collection
Cultures & Communities
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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