Fire marks, invented in London in 1680, were used by fire insurance companies to distinguish the properties they insured from the properties insured by others. They were metal plates posted on the outside of buildings and were popular until the late 19th century when municipal fire departments replaced most private fire brigades. Today, fire marks are valuable collectors’ items with clubs such as the Fire Mark Circle (FMC) and the Fire Mark Circle of the Americas (FMCA) devoted to the hobby. This collection consists of fire mark specimens and related materials, such as books, pamphlets, and clippings on fire mark history and collecting, and materials from the FMC and FMCA.
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