I3118

Samuel Kirk (probably) American Coin Silver Presentation Fire Trumpet, Baltimore, c. 1854, Retailed C. T. Holloway, Baltimore


This historic fire trumpet is wonderfully decorated with flowing repousséd morning glory vines surrounding fire fighting equipment including a ladder, hooks, pike poles, axes and a helmet. It is inscribed 'Presented to the Pioneer Hook & Ladder by Their Friends Nov. 4th 1854'.

Charles T. Holloway, president of the Pioneer Hook & Ladder, was an important American firefighter. Trained as a jeweler, but also a volunteer firefighter, he started Baltimore's Pioneer Hook & Ladder Company in 1851. The hook & ladder was an innovation in urban fire fighting, allowing for increasing large equipment to navigate narrow urban streets and this was Baltimore's first hook & ladder company.

A noted leader in the field, he became the first chief of the Baltimore Fire Department when it was created in 1859. Holloway also consulted with Pittsburgh when they started their fire department and he started the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Holloway started his own fire fighting equipment company in Baltimore and held numerous patents including some for fire extinguishers and fire engines. His engines were sold around the country and can be found in fire fighting museums today.

This historic trumpet measures 18 inches tall and 6 3/4 inches across the base. It weighs approximately 22 troy ounces. It is marked with the Baltimore coin standard mark of 10-15 and by the retailer C. T. Holloway. It is in good antique condition with some deep surface etching (visible in the presentation image) and mild compression in the mouthpiece.

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