South St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine 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 South St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company of St. Louis, Missouri issued this zinc fire mark in 1859.The oval fire mark features raised text that reads “SOUTH/St. LOUIS/MUTUAL.” The mark shows remnants of red paint. The South St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company operated from 1859 to around 1878.

Date Made: 1859

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Missouri

Subject: 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: 2005.0233.0519Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0519

Object Name: fire mark

Physical Description: zinc (overall material)Measurements: overall: 5 3/4 in x 7 15/16 in; 14.605 cm x 20.16125 cm


Record Id: nmah_1342665

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