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 St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company issued this zinc fire mark in 1851. The fire mark is in the shape of a banner, and features the raised text “ST. LOUIS/MUTUAL.” There are tabs on either side of the fire mark that are used to hang the mark. The St. Louis Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company operated from 1851 until 1901.

Date Made: 1851

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: 2005.0233.0521Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0521

Object Name: fire mark

Physical Description: zinc (overall material)Measurements: overall: 4 in x 7 in; 10.16 cm x 17.78 cm


Record Id: nmah_1342668

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