Helmet Frontpiece, “Secretary Hose 3”

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 has two black banners at the top flanked by stars. Raised tan leather letters read “SECRETARY/HOSE.” A large recessed black number “3” is in the center and the piece has decorative stitching throughout. At the bottom of the frontpiece is a recessed cartouche with a black background with the tan leather letter “D” inside. Two initials originally preceded the “D” in the cartouche, but are now missing.

Date Made: unknown

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

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: 2005.0233.1485Accession Number: 2005.0233Catalog Number: 2005.0233.1485

Object Name: frontpiece, helmet

Physical Description: leather (overall material)Measurements: overall: 10 in x 5 in; 25.4 cm x 12.7 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-2c7a-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1395004

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