Fire Engine Plate, "Stephen Thayer"

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 was attached to a fire engine made by Stephen Thayer from Boston, Massachusetts. Thayer operated his business from 1811 to 1861 producing a variety of fire engines and other machine parts. The brass plate is engraved with the text “Stephen Thayer/Maker/Boston, Mass./1838.” The plate has been mounted on a rectangular wooden board with four screws in the plate’s scalloped corners.

Date Made: 1838

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: 2005.0233.0957Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.0957

Object Name: plate, fire engine

Physical Description: wood (overall material)brass (part material)Measurements: part: plate: 4 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in; 11.43 cm x 19.05 cmpart: board: 6 in x 8 1/2 in; 15.24 cm x 21.59 cm


Record Id: nmah_1347281

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