Fire Badge "Edgewater Fire Department"

This shield-shaped metal fire badge was used by a member of the fire department of Edgewater, Staten Island, New York. The badge reads “EDGEWATER/FIRE DEPT” in recessed letters filled in with black enamel. The number “156” is at the bottom of the badge. The overlapping letters “EFD” are stamped out of the center of the badge. The Edgewater Fire Department operated on Staten Island from 1856 until 1937.
Metal firefighter’s badges were a part of the firefighter’s uniform since volunteer companies began to proliferate in the early 19th century. As volunteer companies gave way to municipal fire departments during the mid–19th century, these badges became mandated by uniform codes. Badges served as official identification at fire scenes, as access to derelict buildings by unscrupulous citizens could result in looting. Fire badges came in a variety of shapes, most notably circular, shield–shaped, or the Maltese cross. While shield–shaped badges were often worn on the chest, circular and cross-shaped badges can be seen on jacket lapels or soft caps. Badges usually detailed the company’s name, number and department, and were often decorated with various symbols of the profession such as hose carriages, hand–pumped engines, hoses, trumpets, helmets, hooks, and ladders. For paid municipal companies, many badges also featured the badge number of the wearer.
Currently not on view
date made
late 19th or early 20th century
place made
United States: New Jersey
associated place
United States: New Jersey
Physical Description
silver plated (overall material)
overall: 1 3/4 in x 3 3/8 in; 4.445 cm x 8.5725 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Fire Badges
Firefighting Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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