Fire Engine Plate, "Goodwill Hose"

Description (Brief):

At the core of any fire company is the apparatus used to fight fires and protect lives. This was particularly true of for the volunteer fire fighters in 19th century America. Often purchased with their own funds, their fire engines were the focus of their pride and affection, as well as their identities as fire fighters. Engine plates, often made of brass, would be prominently affixed to engines and inscribed with the company name, number, and founding date. Engine plates could pass from old engine to new, or be kept in the firehouse as a memorial to a departed apparatus.

Description (Brief)

This engine plate likely belonged to the Good Will Hose Company No. 25 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was founded on March 1, 1834. The company operated as a hose company until 1859 when it acquired a steam fire engine. It served as a hose and steam fire engine company until 1871 when Philadelphia’s paid firefighting department was established. The plate has raised lettering with gold coloring that reads “GOODWILL HOSE” over a red background. The back of the plate has two bolts and nuts that allowed it to be attached to the engine.

Date Made: 19th century

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

Subject: Fire Fighting


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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0233.0925Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0925

Object Name: plate, fire engine

Physical Description: iron (overall material)Measurements: overall: 2 1/4 in x 7 7/8 in; 5.715 cm x 20.0025 cm


Record Id: nmah_1347139

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