Trophy presented to the Association of Exempt Firemen

Trophy presented to the Association of Exempt Firemen

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Description (Brief)
Competition, fraternal bonds and honorable service were the hallmarks of 19th century fire companies, and ornate trophies served as recognition of these values. Trophies were often presented to veteran officers in appreciation of their service. One fire company might give a commemorative trophy to another as a goodwill offering or in gratitude for their hospitality. Trophies and other awards could also be won in competitions between fire companies to demonstrate their professional skills, or even in sporting contests like baseball.
This silver plated trophy was created by the Pairpoint Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1899. The trophy has a plaque on its ebony base with the inscription “Presented to the Association of Exempt Firemen of Paterson, New Jersey, by the Liberty Fire Co. No. 5 of Reading, Pennsylvania.” The word "Victory" is incorporated into the design of the lid beneath a spread-winged eagle. The Association of Exempt Firemen was a group formed to foster camaraderie between volunteer firemen after they had ceased participating in active duty. The cup was presented to the Paterson Exempts by a small delegation of the Liberty Fire Company on September 2, 1899. It was given to commemorate a visit to Paterson by the entire Reading company in March of that year, when the Exempts served as hosts. Such fraternal visits between fire companies and veterans groups were a common practice in 19th century fire service.
Currently not on view
Object Name
fireman's trophy
date made
ca 1899
Pairpoint Corporation
place made
United States
Physical Description
silver plated (overall material)
overall: 19 in; 48.26 cm
part: lid: 6 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in; 16.51 cm x 19.05 cm
part: base: 4 1/2 in; 11.43 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
Firefighting Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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