Helmet Frontpiece, "Bergen"

Description (Brief)
The frontpiece (also known as shield or badge) of firefighting helmets has been a distinctive part of the American firefighter’s helmet since it was developed by Henry Gratacap in the early 19th century. These frontpieces displayed a variety of information. The fire company's name and number appeared, often alongside the city or town where it was based. The frontpiece could also include the owner's initials and rank. Most fire helmets had leather frontpieces, but frontpieces could also be made of metal, especially on presentation helmets or those worn in parades.
This black leather frontpiece was made in the 20th century. The frontpiece reads “BERGEN/6/TKH” in white. There is a crossed hook and ladder behind this, indicating it was a hook and ladder company. The letters "TKH" at the bottom of the frontpiece are likely the owner's initials.
Currently not on view
Object Name
frontpiece, helmet
date made
20th century
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 6 1/4 in; 20.32 cm x 15.875 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Firefighting Collection
Helmet Frontpieces
Clothing & Accessories
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Firefighting Collection
Helmet Frontpieces
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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