Helmet Frontpiece, "Rescue 8"

Description (Brief):

The frontpiece (also known as shield or badge) of firefighting helmets has been a distinctive part of the American firefighter’s helmet since it was developed by Henry Gratacap in the early 19th century. These frontpieces displayed a variety of information. The fire company's name and number appeared, often alongside the city or town where it was based. The frontpiece could also include the owner's initials and rank. Most fire helmets had leather frontpieces, but frontpieces could also be made of metal, especially on presentation helmets or those worn in parades.

Description (Brief)

This leather frontpiece was made during the late 19th century. The frontpiece is made of red leather, with raised white leather lettering that reads “RESCUE/8.” Behind the number “8” in the center of the piece is a white leather crossed hook and ladder.

Date Made: late 19th century

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement, Clothing & Accessories, Firefighting Collection, Work, Helmet Frontpieces


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0233.1465Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.1465

Object Name: frontpiece, helmet

Physical Description: leather (overall material)Measurements: overall: 4 1/4 in x 6 in; 10.795 cm x 15.24 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-436d-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1394877

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.