Guardian Fire and Marine Insurance Company Fire Mark

Guardian Fire and Marine Insurance Company Fire Mark

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Description (Brief)
Beginning in the 1750s, some American insurance companies issued metal fire marks to policyholders to signify that their property was insured against fire damage. The fire marks bore the name and/or symbol of the insurer, and some included the customer’s policy number. The company or agent would then affix the mark to the policyholder’s home or business. For owners the mark served as proof of insurance and a deterrent against arson. For insurance companies the mark served as a form of advertising, and alerted volunteer firefighters that the property was insured.
The Guardian Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania issued this fire mark in 1867.The oval mark is heavily convex with a hollow back, and features a central image of an angel in high relief with the text “Guardian” under the angel. The Guardian Fire and Marine Insurance Company was in operation from 1867 until 1871.
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
cast iron (overall material)
overall: 9 in x 11 13/16 in; 22.86 cm x 30.00375 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Fire Marks
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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