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Preserving History & Tradition

5218 South Western Avenue - Chicago, Illinois

Currently the Museum is only open on the 4th Saturday of each month, excluding December. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming open houses.

Currently the Museum is only open on the 4th Saturday of each month, excluding December. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming open houses.

Speaking Trumpet

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Speaking trumpets were used by officers and engineers at fires dating back to the beginning of the 19th century.  These trumpets were used to amplify their voices in order to communicate orders at the scene of a fire. Officers were often recognized because they had the horn hanging around their necks.


The symbol of the trumpet was later used to denote rank on insignias.

As a side note, the Speaking trumpet was also referred to as a plunger, referencing a notable resemblance to an outhouse plunger.