Fire Badge "North Tarrytown Fire Department"

Fire Badge "North Tarrytown Fire Department"

Usage conditions apply
This shield-shaped metal fire badge belonged to a member of the North Tarrytown (New York) Fire Department. North Tarrytown was renamed Sleepy Hollow in 1996. The badge bears the inscription “NORTH TARRYTOWN/FIRE DEPT.” that filled with black enamel. An engraved hook and ladder are crossed in the center of the badge, above a raised number “1.” The badge number “32” is at the bottom of the badge. The owner was likely a member of the Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 of the North Tarrytown Fire Department.
Metal firefighter’s badges were a part of the firefighter’s uniform since volunteer companies began to proliferate in the early 19th century. As volunteer companies gave way to municipal fire departments during the mid–19th century, these badges became mandated by uniform codes. Badges served as official identification at fire scenes, as access to derelict buildings by unscrupulous citizens could result in looting. Fire badges came in a variety of shapes, most notably circular, shield–shaped, or the Maltese cross. While shield–shaped badges were often worn on the chest, circular and cross-shaped badges can be seen on jacket lapels or soft caps. Badges usually detailed the company’s name, number and department, and were often decorated with various symbols of the profession such as hose carriages, hand–pumped engines, hoses, trumpets, helmets, hooks, and ladders. For paid municipal companies, many badges also featured the badge number of the wearer.
Currently not on view
Object Name
badge, fireman's
date made
place made
United States
associated place
United States: New York, Tarrytown
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 2 1/4 in x 1 3/4 in; 5.715 cm x 4.445 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
Fire Badges
Firefighting Collection
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