Mon 10 Jul. 2023

'Fire! Risk & Revelations' gallery by the Insurance Museum

‘Powered by the Industrial Revolution’ is the third in a series of online galleries from the Insurance Museum’s ‘Fire! Risk and Revelations’ exhibition.

The gallery which goes live on 3rd July 2023, explores how fire insurance companies responded to the huge economic, social and manufacturing changes brought on by the industrial revolution in Britain. Visitors will get an insight into some of the challenges they faced in underwriting, fire prevention and firefighting – as well as being able to look at the growth and expansion of fire offices in new communities outside of London. This was a time of increasing professionalism in the industry and insurance became a leader in business innovation. It was advanced in terms of business development, marketing, branding and corporate takeover, with some of the larger offices having networks of agents across the country and even overseas.

Howard Benge, Director of the Insurance Museum says: “This latest gallery really shows the importance of insurance as a forerunner in business development. It can even be argued that insurance assisted the revolution, by mitigating risk for the investors and innovators who led the way. For those interested in the history of design, there is a fascinating section on branding, with objects taken from the collections of the Aviva archives, Ron Long, Brian Sharp, the CII, Brian Henham and Roy Rice which show how insurance companies took great care in representing their branding, in the design of everything from the firefighters uniforms, to their buckets and policies. T

he history of the Industrial Revolution is a key topic for schools, and I hope that this gallery will bring in new information to that topic, introducing children and young people to the incredible story of insurance.”

The Fire! Risk and Revelations exhibition will consist of four online galleries – telling the story of fire insurance from its birth back in 1667, following the Great Fire of London, right through to 1929. With each stage of the story being supported by an engaging mix of expert interviews, fun facts and historical objects to view.

You can view the galleries to date here -