As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

Hope Mutual Fire Insurance Company Fire Mark

Hope Mutual Fire Insurance Company Fire Mark

Usage conditions apply
Downloads
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.”
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
1858
maker
unknown
Physical Description
zinc (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 6 in x 5 1/4 in; 15.24 cm x 13.335 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.0511
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0511
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
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.

Comments

Add a comment about this object