Fire Engine Plate, "Newton"

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 white metal engine plate belonged to the Newton Fire Company Number 3 of Newton, Massachusetts. The Newton Fire Department was founded in 1835, and the Newton Fire Company Number 3 was founded in 1857. The shield-shaped plate bears the central engraving “NEWTON/3” with black enamel filling. There are decorative incisions around the text, and holes at the top and sides for mounting.
Currently not on view
Object Name
plate, fire engine
date made
Physical Description
white metal (overall material)
overall: 4 1/4 in x 7 1/4 in; 10.795 cm x 18.415 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

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.