Helmet Frontpiece, "Vice President Charlestown Veteran"

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 white leather frontpiece dates to the late 19th century. The frontpiece reads "VICE/ PRESIDENT/ CHARLESTOWN/ VETERAN/ VFA" in white block lettering on a black background. There is black decorative stitching throughout the frontpiece.
Currently not on view
place made
United States
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
overall: 8 1/4 in x 6 1/4 in; 20.955 cm x 15.875 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
Clothing & Accessories
Firefighting Collection
Helmet Frontpieces
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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