Fire Badge "President Fire Insurance Patrol"

This metal shield-shaped fire badge belonged to the president of the Philadelphia Fire Insurance Patrol. The badge is decorated with a small torch at the top and an unmarked plaque with floral decorations at the bottom. Upper and lower banners read “PRESIDENT/FIRE INSURANCE/PATROL” in raised letters. The center of the badge bears an image of a group of firemen in a horse-drawn cart on a patrol. The Philadelphia Fire Insurance Patrol operated from 1869 until 1962.
In the early days of firefighting, insurance companies and fire departments worked together at a fire scene. Fire patrols were organized by insurance companies to cover 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, fire extinguishers, and buckets to squelch small fires, and would pump water from cellars and mop it up from roofs after the fire was extinguished.
Currently not on view
Object Name
badge, fireman's
date made
ca 1885
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 2 in x 2 1/4 in; 5.08 cm x 5.715 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Firefighting Collection
Fire Badges
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Fire Badges
Firefighting Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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