Protection Mutual Fire Insurance Company Fire Mark

Protection 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 Protection Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Thomaston, Maine issued this tinned sheet iron fire mark in 1849. When issued, the oval mark bore the initials “P.M.F.I.Co.” The text is almost indiscernible due to the effects of fire, possibly the Great Fire of Portland, Maine in 1866.
Currently not on view
Object Name
fire mark
date made
place made
United States: Maine
Physical Description
tinned sheet iron (overall material)
overall: 6 1/8 in x 8 1/4 in; 15.5575 cm x 20.955 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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