Work Trumpet

Description (Brief):

As more American volunteer fire fighting companies began to form during the late 18th century, a need emerged for better organized efforts in combating conflagrations. Engineers and officers would use “speaking trumpets” to amplify their voices over the noise and commotion of a fire scene to direct the company in effectively fighting the blaze. Two trumpet variants are reflected in the collection: plain and functional “working” trumpets that were actively used at fires, and highly decorated “presentation” trumpets. Presentation trumpets were awarded to firefighters in honor of their service, or between fire companies during visits, competitions, and musters.

Description (Brief)

This brass work trumpet was used during the middle of the 19th century. The trumpet’s mouthpiece is made of leather and the brass section has several dents.

Date Made: 1840-1850

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0233.0869Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0869

Object Name: trumpet, speaking

Physical Description: brass (overall material)leather (part: mouthpiece material)Measurements: overall: 15 in x 4 3/8 in; 38.1 cm x 11.1125 cm


Record Id: nmah_1346152

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.