Fire Marks: The Visible Proof of Insurance
*The event has already taken place on this date: Thu, 10/28/2021
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Join Carpenters’ Hall during national fire prevention month as they dive into a presentation about the use of insurance fire marks, and its American origin brought forth by Ben Franklin’s company The Philadelphia Contributionship. Serving as the nation’s first successful property insurance company, they popularized the use of Britain’s insurance fire marks in early America. Seen on countless historic homes, including Carpenters’ Hall, the fire mark’s origin in Philadelphia sparked the first of many American property insurance companies and an array of lead, wood, and iron markings decorating the city homes.
Carol Smith, who will present this information, is an independent curator and archivist who has worked with a number of Philadelphia’s institutions including Carpenters' Hall and Christ Church. For many years she has served as the archivist and historian for The Philadelphia Contributionship, America’s oldest property insurance company. She serves on the board of directors of Fireman’s Hall Museum and has specialized in the history of insurance and firefighting. She has a BA in American Civilization and an MA in Material Culture from the University of Pennsylvania and is a certified archivist.
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