Presentation Trumpet, "Weccacoe Hose Co."

Presentation Trumpet, "Weccacoe Hose Co."

<< >>
Description (Brief)
As more American volunteer fire fighting companies began to form during the late 18th century, a need emerged for better organized efforts in combating conflagrations. Engineers and officers would use “speaking trumpets” to amplify their voices over the noise and commotion of a fire scene to direct the company in effectively fighting the blaze. Two trumpet variants are reflected in the collection: plain and functional “working” trumpets that were actively used at fires, and highly decorated “presentation” trumpets. Presentation trumpets were awarded to firefighters in honor of their service, or between fire companies during visits, competitions, and musters.
This trumpet was likely presented to the Weccacoe Hose Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the Ramblers Club No. 1. The silver trumpet is divided into three sections, with an inscription on the center section that reads “Presented to / Weccacoe Hose Co. / by the / Ramblers Club No. 1 / May 2nd 1852.” A leather strap is attached to the trumpet by two rings. The fire company was organized on January 8, 1842 and operated until 1854 when it was shut down by city council for fighting. Rambling clubs began in the 19th century as a way for people to escape the industrializing city and walk around nature.
Currently not on view
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
ca 1852
place made
United States
Physical Description
silver plate (overall material)
leather (part: strap material)
overall: 17 1/2 in x 6 3/4 in; 44.45 cm x 17.145 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
Speaking Trumpets
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.


Add a comment about this object