Work Trumpet, "P.L.C."

Work Trumpet, "P.L.C."

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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 brass work trumpet dates to the 19th century. The unadorned trumpet has two bands around the upper and lower portions of the shaft. Two rings hang from the shaft, allowing a cord to be attached the trumpet. This mouthpiece has become detached from the trumpet, and the shaft is engraved with the initials “PLC.”
Currently not on view (trumpet, speaking)
Currently not on view (mouth piece)
Object Name
trumpet, speaking
date made
place made
United States
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
overall: 17 in x 7 1/4 in; 43.18 cm x 18.415 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
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