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Associated Firemen's Insurance Company Fire Mark

Associated Firemen's 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 Associated Firemen’s Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania issued this fire mark in 1851. The mark is a cut-out image of a fireman wearing a hat and cape. The fireman is next to a fire hydrant, using a speaking trumpet, with a wrench in his hand to open the hydrant. The fireman is standing on a crescent shaped base that has raised text that reads “FIRE COMPANY.” The mark is painted reddish-brown. The Associated Firemen’s Insurance Company operated from 1850 to around 1857.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
1851
maker
unknown
Physical Description
cast iron (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 8 3/8 in x 7 7/8 in; 21.2725 cm x 20.0025 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.0501
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0501
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
subject
Fire Fighting
Insurance
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Work
Cultures & Communities
Advertising
Firefighting Collection
Fire Marks
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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