Hope Mutual Insurance Company Fire Mark

Description (Brief):

Beginning in the 1750s, some American insurance companies issued metal fire marks to policyholders to signify that their property was insured against fire damage. The fire marks bore the name and/or symbol of the insurer, and some included the customer’s policy number. The company or agent would then affix the mark to the policyholder’s home or business. For owners the mark served as proof of insurance and a deterrent against arson. For insurance companies the mark served as a form of advertising, and alerted volunteer firefighters that the property was insured.

Description (Brief)

The Hope Mutual Insurance Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania issued this cast iron fire mark between 1854 and 1860. The oval-shaped mark has a beaded edge and a central image of a female figure standing by a rock or pedestal and placing her hand on an anchor. The female figure is intended to be an allegorical representation of Hope. The mark is made of cast iron, and has been painted black.

Date Made: 1854Company Dates: 1854–1860

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Classified: Fire FightingSubject: Insurance


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement, Cultures & Communities, Advertising, Work, Firefighting Collection, Fire Marks


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0233.0439Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0439

Object Name: fire mark

Physical Description: cast iron (overall material)Measurements: overall: 10 5/8 in x 6 3/4 in; 26.9875 cm x 17.145 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-6cc2-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1341944

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