Wednesday, January 15

New Found Treasures

I came across these two pins while going through two separate collections today. I have found time recently to accomplish some small tasks from the to-do list and organizing my sewing cabinet was one of them.
While sorting though 5 calling jars full of buttons, I found this little American flag pin. It feels old and it looks pretty darn old and I love it. After finally being able to make out the words "Doran Patent" on the back of the pin (they were tiny letters and I needed a magnifying glass to partially make them out) I discovered that this is a World War I US Food Administration Pin. The Food Administration was established in 1917 for the regulation of reserve food supplies, especially wheat, for the Allied nations. The pin is made of brass and celluloid and shows a starred and striped crest at center framed by wheat.
This was mixed in with a ton of old and new buttons that I saved from Roy's Grandparents house while we were all cleaning it out about 10 years ago. It now has a nice place on my laundry room cork board where I can glance at it every day. I don't know why his Grandmother had it, and why it was mixed in with all the buttons, but I am glad that she saved it. A quick look at Roy's family tree shows that his Grandmothers father registered for the WWI draft but there is no information saying that he served in any capacity.
World War I Food Administration Pin
The other task I undertook from the list was to go through a small wooden box that my brother gave me. He found it while going through my Grandfathers desk at the farm and he thought I might want it. It was full of bits and pieces of things from a very old binder clip to an old dog license tag to this little pin pictured below.
A 1930's NY State 5 M Club Dairy Farmers Pin

As far as I can tell this was a program in New York State in the 1930's that dairy farmers would become a member of and cooperate with the state authorities to "promote the use of milk." In a broader search, it seems that the 1930's was a tumultuous time for NY dairy farmers. Strikes, low prices for milk and disagreements over rules and regulations provides some interesting reading over at The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Milk Strike website.

Where my Grandpa got this pin in uncertain given that he was not a diary farmer. However, the farm where my brother lives now was purchased by my Grandparents in 1980 and it had been a long-time working dairy farm in the past. Maybe he found the pin in one of the numerous sheds on the property or tucked in cupboard in the old milking parlor.

I will add this item to my research notes on the farm as I am looking into the history of the property and the previous owners.

This kind of thing fascinates me. And now I will spend the rest of the evening looking for vague mentions of upstate NY dairy farmers on google.

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