Fire Engine Plate, "Hudson Hose Company"

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 metal plate belonged to the Hudson Hose Company Number 21 of New York City that was established in 1863. The shield-shaped plate is mounted onto a square velvet-covered board. The number “21” is engraved in the center, the words "HUDSON" and "HOSE CO" are above and below. The engravings are filled with black enamel and outlined in gold. The Hudson Hose Company Number 21 was founded on October 21, 1846. It was located on Duane Street, and was re-organized as Engine Company No. 53 in 1863.
Currently not on view
Object Name
plate, fire engine
Physical Description
white metal (overall material)
overall: 5 3/4 in x 5 1/4 in; 14.605 cm x 13.335 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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