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US Military Uniform Buttons Interesting Facts


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teufelhunde.ret

Prior to the 1830’s, US Navy buttons were of a one-piece design, and were flat or slightly convex. They were beautiful buttons, most had the familiar eagle & anchor, some of the earlier ones had only an anchor. Some were American made, but there were many beautiful British made buttons too. (source: Record Of American Uniform And Historical Buttons, by Alphaeus H. Albert)

The ones pictured are from my collection (with Albert’s reference number under); with a close-up of one of my favorites (it was hard to pick just one…).

 

A very informative thread! There is discussion and pics on a few websites, sighting this particular button "with fowled anchor" were used on the dress uniforms of Marine Officers during the period.

 

Thanks for starting a great thread!

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Jumpin Jack

Dag, thank you for a very informative and enlightening bit of Americana. Thank your for broadening our knowledge with your labor of love. Jack

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It is worth mentioning that the silver buttons were worn by mess stewards.

 

There were also distinctive buttons for some of the various US Army transportation organizations. Pictured are some examples of some of these organizations:

United States Army Transport Service (2 different versions);

United States Army Transport Corps;

Military Sea Transport Service (2 versions)

(sources: Maritime and Aviation; Transportation Uniform Buttons Vol.3, by Don Van Court;

Record Of American Uniform And Historical Buttons, by Alphaeus H. Albert)

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  • 8 months later...

Sorry for posting in an old topic (which is very informative), but from your posts it seems that all post 1902 buttons that are not the federal pattern were not official? I know many if not all states had post 1902 bronzed buttons with state seals, but I can’t seem to find any information on them.

For example, here is a NJ National Guard button which I am having a difficult time pinning down with respect to date.

post-97349-0-07320300-1419957529.jpg

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Sorry for posting in an old topic (which is very informative), but from your posts it seems that all post 1902 buttons that are not the federal pattern were not official? I know many if not all states had post 1902 bronzed buttons with state seals, but I can’t seem to find any information on them.

 

For example, here is a NJ National Guard button which I am having a difficult time pinning down with respect to date.

 

Dr_rambow: Sorry for not responding earlier - somehow missed your reply with the picture of your New Jersey National Guard (Infantry) button back. That Scovill backmark dates 1880's-1900 per Tice's book Dating Buttons A Chronology of Button Types, Maker, Retailers & Their Backmarks. So it pre-dates the US Army conversion to a common button ~1902. By the way, in Albert's book, this button is reference number NJ 17B.

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Can you help with identification of this button?

 

Waterbury Button Co.

 

Your button is US Navy Chief Petty officer. Per Albert's book, reference number NA 131B. Appears to be a smaller size, maybe around 18mm, therefore "vest" size. It appears to have an abbreviated Waterbury backmark (due to lack of space); usually would have some variation of "Waterbury Conn" as part of the backmark to help further date the button. Smaller cuff & vest sizes are sometimes harder to date as a result.

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