Helmet Frontpiece, "Treasurer of Charlestown Veteran"

Helmet Frontpiece, "Treasurer of Charlestown Veteran"

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Description (Brief)
The frontpiece (also known as shield or badge) of firefighting helmets has been a distinctive part of the American firefighter’s helmet since it was developed by Henry Gratacap in the early 19th century. These frontpieces displayed a variety of information. The fire company's name and number appeared, often alongside the city or town where it was based. The frontpiece could also include the owner's initials and rank. Most fire helmets had leather frontpieces, but frontpieces could also be made of metal, especially on presentation helmets or those worn in parades.
This tan leather frontpiece has three dark brown banners with light tan leather lettering that reads “TREASURER/CHARLESTOWN/VETERAN” but the “T” in “VETERAN” is missing. There is a recessed red star on the frontpiece in between the words “TREASURER” and “CHARLESTOWN.” Veterans association, like other clubs and organizations, elected officers such as treasurers and secretaries to help manage their affairs.
Currently not on view
Object Name
frontpiece, helmet
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
overall: 8 1/4 in x 4 in; 20.955 cm x 10.16 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
Clothing & Accessories
Firefighting Collection
Helmet Frontpieces
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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