Heritage Server > Story Bank > Advertising > Origin of Our Emblem
From the Fireman’s Fund Record, Centennial Issue, 1963.

A few years ago in Dorchester, Massachusetts, an elderly woman was passing the insurance office where she usually did business, and glanced into the window. Something there made her pause – it was the sight of an emblem, the Fireman and Child, trademark of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. She had looked at it a thousand times before but actually without seeing it. Now she studied it closely. She went inside and told her agent she wanted her fire insurance transferred to Fireman’s Fund.

Her agent, of course, agreed, took some notes, and then said: "May I ask why you’re doing this? Why do you want Fireman’s Fund?"

The caller came straight to the point. "Because," she said, "I think Fireman’s Fund has a heart, that’s why. Any big corporation like that, with such a trademark – with a fireman carrying a little child out of a fire to safety – just has to have a big streak of compassion somewhere. I’d like that kind of company looking after me, if you don’t mind!"

Far fetched? It isn’t. This incident actually happened. And it wasn’t isolated, at that. We’ve had many letters referring to the human element of our corporate emblem.

As for ourselves, we like the emblem fine and like the theme for which it stands – compassion, helpfulness, service. Further, we’ve lived with it for a long time, and when our second hundred years roll ‘round, we expect you’ll see the nightgown clad youngster still snuggling trustfully and safely in the arms of her big protector.

It was in 1881 or 1882 that a young woman artist came into the office of Fireman’s Fund and spoke of the calendars then put out by the company. She said how much more appealing they would be if illustrated – if, for instance, they bore the picture of a fireman rescuing a child from a burning home. Then she took a scroll from under her arm and unrolled it, a sample of her own artistic ability – the Fireman and Child! Company executives liked the emblem. They bought the work and the rights to it.

Without knowing it, and probably long before the term was invented, the woman had become a perfect example of a public relations expert.

Since that day of four score years ago, the Fireman and Child emblem has undergone simplification and numerous refinements, but the basic theme remains unchanged.

On some occasions we have been urged to change our emblem, go modernistic, get a "shocker." No thanks.

[Fireman’s Fund Archives: 4-1-3-4-83, 0414]


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