Helmet Frontpiece, "Northern Liberty 8"

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 leather frontpiece was made by Joseph Cogan of Boston, Massachusetts between 1865 and 1871. The white frontpiece has white leather letters on red banners that read “NORTHERN/LIBERTY.” A large white number “8” is on a red background, encircled by a black hose with two nozzles.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
before 1871
maker
Cogan, Joseph
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 7 3/4 in x 6 in; 19.685 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.1439
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.1439
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Work
Clothing & Accessories
Firefighting Collection
Helmet Frontpieces
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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