There is a wealth of knowledge on this website, has anyone out there done any research on this device? If so, any information would be greatly appreciated.
Pictures of Sailors wearing these devices would be great too.
Naval History and Heritage Command response:
Thank you for contacting the Naval History and Heritage Command regarding the interesting artifact in your possession.
Unfortunately, we have not uncovered any additional information regarding cap devices such as these. The information you already know from the 1886 and 1897 Uniform Regulations is all that we have to reference.
As you know the 1886 Regs show an image similar to your photograph but the image has 12 stars surrounding the eagle. The 1897 Regs show 13 stars surrounding the eagle. And finally, your artifact only has 11 stars surrounding the eagle. This could have been a deliberate change or it could have simply resulted in manufacturers spacing the stars differently when they made the item. We have no way of knowing this at this time without further information.
Further confusing matters is the 1897 Regs they call for CPO hats to have the "letters U.S.N. in silver upon a gilt foul anchor" even while they show images of the hat with a device similar to yours.
We are sorry to not be of more assistance in your search for information.
Naval History and Heritage Command
805 Kidder Breese Street S.E.
Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374
Edited by holdaas, 25 October 2012 - 11:06 PM.