Fire Engine Plate, "Franklin"

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 rectangular fire engine plate with scalloped edges features the deeply engraved text “Franklin” in the center. There are holes at both ends, showing where it was attached to the machine. “Built by” is engraved in smaller text above “Franklin” and “C.E. Hartshorn N.Y.” is engraved below. Charles E. Hartshorn built a variety of fire fighting apparatus in New York City during the mid-to-late 19th century.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
plate, fire engine
date made
1838
maker
unknown
Physical Description
brass with nickel on silver plate (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2 in x 9 1/16 in; 5.08 cm x 23.01875 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
2005.0233.0924
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0924
subject
Fire Fighting
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Work
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Fire Engine Plates
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

Add a comment about this object