Fire Engine Plate, "Delaware 1761"

Description (Brief)
At the core of any fire company is the apparatus used to fight fires and protect lives. This was particularly true of for the volunteer fire fighters in 19th century America. Often purchased with their own funds, their fire engines were the focus of their pride and affection, as well as their identities as fire fighters. Engine plates, often made of brass, would be prominently affixed to engines and inscribed with the company name, number, and founding date. Engine plates could pass from old engine to new, or be kept in the firehouse as a memorial to a departed apparatus.
This brass fire engine plate was used by the Delaware Fire Company. Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1761, the company was originally named for King George III. The rectangular brass plate has black recessed lettering that reads “DELAWARE 1761.” The plate has been mounted on to a wooden board for display.
Currently not on view
Object Name
plate, fire engine
date made
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
overall: 5 1/2 in x 17 in; 13.97 cm x 43.18 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cultures & Communities
Fire Fighting
Firefighting Collection
Fire Engine Plates
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Firefighting Collection
Fire Engine Plates
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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