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Thread: Civil War era Vermont button

  1. #1
    Veteran Member BTV Digger's Avatar
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    Civil War era Vermont button

    Hi folks,

    Spent this past Monday snagging new permissions here in the valley, though alas I'll have to wait until the corn is cut before I can detect the sites. There are several promising ones. One of the permissions had a small side field where there was some recently cut hay so I did spend an hour or so there just to satisfy the itch in between door knocking. Didn't find much as expected, but did pull one nice relic, which is this c. 1850s/60s Norwich Univ. cadet's button. Norwich U. is a military academy here in VT and was the first northern cadet school established (1819) after West Point. It's still in existence today. Pretty stoked about this one.

    John

    Name:  NU button 1.jpg
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Size:  25.3 KBName:  NU button 2.jpg
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    Vermont relic hunting, one swing at a time.
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  2. #2
    Amazing find, John, and a great piece of local history.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator OxShoeDrew's Avatar
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    Great button, John!!

  4. #4
    That is a NICE one there John. Don't ever recall seeing one from that academy posted before.
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member The Rebel's Avatar
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    That's a really great button John!
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    Administrator del's Avatar
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    John , that is an exceptional button and great piece of history !
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  7. #7
    very nice!
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  8. #8
    Veteran Member BTV Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGC View Post
    Amazing find, John, and a great piece of local history.
    Thanks David!

    Quote Originally Posted by OxShoeDrew View Post
    Great button, John!!
    Thx Drew!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lodge Scent View Post
    That is a NICE one there John. Don't ever recall seeing one from that academy posted before.
    Thx Jeff. Yeah, I'm quite pleased with this one given it's probably an uncommon find.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Rebel View Post
    That's a really great button John!
    Thx much!

    Quote Originally Posted by del View Post
    John , that is an exceptional button and great piece of history !
    Thx Dan. Yeah, anything historical I can tie to my regional area always brings a smile to my face.

    Quote Originally Posted by calabash digger View Post
    very nice!
    Thx man!
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    Global Moderator Ill Digger's Avatar
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    Just enough to keep ya chomping at the bit to get back on that field!
    Cool find John!
    Congrats!
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  10. #10
    Full Member fyrffytr1's Avatar
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    I love finding buttons and that one would make my day! For my education how did you date it to the 1850/60s?
    My wife does all the driving, I just hold the steering wheel!

  11. #11
    Veteran Member BTV Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrffytr1 View Post
    I love finding buttons and that one would make my day! For my education how did you date it to the 1850/60s?
    You know, that's a good question. Upon further reading the company was actually in existence all the way into the WW2 era, though was one of the big manufacturers of CW-era buttons. I don't have American Military Button Makers & Dealers: Their Backmarks & Dates by McGuinn and Bazelon which would be a great aid. However, I did find this reference online (http://www.shilohrelics.com/cgi-bin/...tem.asp?102486) which shows my button. It states that the reference from Tice's button book suggests post-CW, so I stand corrected. It's an older style eagle though, so I'm thinking probably 1860s/70s instead.

    John
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  12. #12
    Full Member fyrffytr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTV Digger View Post
    You know, that's a good question. Upon further reading the company was actually in existence all the way into the WW2 era, though was one of the big manufacturers of CW-era buttons. I don't have American Military Button Makers & Dealers: Their Backmarks & Dates by McGuinn and Bazelon which would be a great aid. However, I did find this reference online (http://www.shilohrelics.com/cgi-bin/...tem.asp?102486) which shows my button. It states that the reference from Tice's button book suggests post-CW, so I stand corrected. It's an older style eagle though, so I'm thinking probably 1860s/70s instead.

    John
    Thanks for the reply. I wasn't questioning the age just what reference you used so that I might be able to help someone down the line ID a button they find. I know it is really tricky trying to precisely date one. Usually the exact backmark match is the best way to go. I do have McGuinn and Bazelon's book and they list two with that exact backmark. Here is what it says and I am still confused as to whether they mean your button dates post 1880 or the first one the list.


    "D. Evans & Co./ Attleboro Ms" (SU-209, post 1880; SU-287, Norwich U.)

    In Albert's book SU-209 is listed as L C, Lewis College, N.H. 1880.
    SU-287B. N.U. Cadet, Norwich University, Northfield, Vt. (2-piece) but it doesn't give a date.

    In the back of the McGuinn book are photos of the different D. Evans backmarks up to 1870 but they all have either "MASS" or nothing after Attleboro. So where does that leave us with the "MS" abbreviation found on your button?
    Last edited by fyrffytr1; 07-28-2019 at 03:15 PM.
    My wife does all the driving, I just hold the steering wheel!

  13. #13
    Veteran Member BTV Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrffytr1 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I wasn't questioning the age just what reference you used so that I might be able to help someone down the line ID a button they find. I know it is really tricky trying to precisely date one. Usually the exact backmark match is the best way to go. I do have McGuinn and Bazelon's book and they list two with that exact backmark. Here is what it says and I am still confused as to whether they mean your button dates post 1880 or the first one the list.


    "D. Evans & Co./ Attleboro Ms" (SU-209, post 1880; SU-287, Norwich U.)

    In Albert's book SU-209 is listed as L C, Lewis College, N.H. 1880.
    SU-287B. N.U. Cadet, Norwich University, Northfield, Vt. (2-piece) but it doesn't give a date.

    In the back of the McGuinn book are photos of the different D. Evans backmarks up to 1870 but they all have either "MASS" or nothing after Attleboro. So where does that leave us with the "MS" abbreviation found on your button?
    Thanks for info! Much appreciated. So I'll settle on "later 1800s" and leave it at that. I also have the Alberts book, but as you show, it wasn't too much help either.
    Vermont relic hunting, one swing at a time.
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