City Mutual Fire 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 City Mutual Fire Insurance Company of St. Louis, Missouri issued this zinc fire mark around 1861. The oval mark features raised text that reads “CITY/MUTUAL.” The City Mutual Fire Insurance Company operated in St. Louis from 1861 until 1878.

Date Made: ca 1861

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

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:

Related Publication: McCosker, M.J.. The Historical Collection of Insurance Company of North America

Credit Line: Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0233.0510Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0510

Object Name: fire mark

Physical Description: zinc (overall material)Measurements: overall: 5 5/8 in x 7 3/4 in; 14.2875 cm x 19.685 cm


Record Id: nmah_1342600

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