Trail-blaz­ing idea for fire safety from the 18th cen­tury

Amer­sham Mu­seum

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - PEOPLE AND PLACES -

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

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