This police constable's badge was found in the aftermath of the Great Fire of Chicago, 1871.
A uniformed "preventative" police force with regular patrols was established in Chicago in 1858. This police badge was worn by a Chicago police constable during the Great Fire of 1871. The fire started the night of October 8th, 1871,and burned for 36 hours. According to a popular story, when the fire reached the Chicago Courthouse at midnight on the 9th, Mayor Roswell B. Mason ordered the prisoners in basement cells to be moved. This story was confirmed in 1998 when Mason's written order was discovered. After the fire, this badge was one of the many items found scattered about the city that residents saved as a memento of the disaster.