Fire Badge "Philadelphia Fire Insurance Patrol Superintendent"

This metal shield-shaped fire badge belonged to a superintendent of the Philadelphia Fire Insurance Patrol. In the early days of firefighting, insurance companies and fire departments often worked hand-in-hand. Fire Patrols were organized by insurance companies to patrol a neighborhood and report any fires that occurred, inspect buildings for fire hazards, and work with the fire department to prevent loss of life and property. Patrol wagons were equipped with rubber blankets to protect property from water damage, and fire extinguishers and buckets to squelch small fires. The patrols would pump water from cellars and mop it up from roofs after the fire had been extinguished. The badge is decorated with a small torch at the top and a plaque with floral decorations at the bottom. Upper and lower banners read “PHILADA/FIRE INSURANCE/PATROL” in raised letters. The center of the badge has a banner engraved “SUPERINTENDENT” filled in with black enamel. The Philadelphia Fire Insurance Patrol operated from 1869 until 1962.
Currently not on view
date made
20th century
place made
United States
associated place
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 2 1/8 in x 1 3/4 in; 5.3975 cm x 4.445 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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