Helmet Frontpiece, "Hope Hose 1"

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 red leather frontpiece was probably made during the 20th century. The frontpiece has a white leather trim around the border, with raised white leather letters on a black banner that read “HOPE HOSE.” A black shield below the banner has a raised white leather number “1” in the center.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
19th century
maker
unknown
place made
United States
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 3 3/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 9.525 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.1445
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.1445
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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