Hope Mutual Fire Insurance Company Fire Mark

Hope Mutual Fire 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 Hope Mutual Fire Insurance Company of St. Louis was active from 1857 until 1901, when it was purchased by the National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut. The shield-shaped fire mark is made of zinc, with an anchor in its center, a traditional symbol for hope. The mark has a raised rim and raised lettering that reads “HOPE/MUTUAL /ST. LOUIS.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
Physical Description
zinc (overall material)
overall: 6 in x 5 1/4 in; 15.24 cm x 13.335 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
Fire Fighting
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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