Trail-blazing idea for fire safety from the 18th century
49 High Street Old Amersham HP7 0DP 01494 723700 www.amershammuseum.org DID you know that insurance companies used to provide their own fire engines long before they became a public service?
Near the roof of Hinton House in Old Amersham’s High Street there is an 18th century Sun Fire Office disk designed to show firemen that the house was insured.
The idea presumably was to indicate which houses should be given priority in the event of a fire breaking out.
This was found in the house by former owners and fastened by them on the brick facade.
It probably originated from when the house was owned by John Tanner, a ‘Doctor in Physick,’ who was insured with Sun Insurance in 1716 and 1722, and possibly also in 1725 when William Tanner, an apothecary, lived there.
ANTHONY DEL TUFO, MUSEUM VOLUNTEER