Fire Engine Plate, "Vigilant"

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 brass engine plate features the text “Vigilant VI” engraved and filled with black enamel. The rectangular plate with scalloped corners has two holes on each side that allowed it to be attached to an engine.

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

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: 2005.0233.0948Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0948

Object Name: plate, fire engine

Physical Description: metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 8 in x 3 3/4 in; 20.32 cm x 9.525 cm


Record Id: nmah_1347234

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