A Reunion of Badges

The 46th Annual Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association Civil War Artifact and Collectibles Show in Gettysburg yesterday was the setting for a unique reunion.  For probably the first time in 81 years, the three known surviving examples of the Commissioner’s badge for the 1938 Gettysburg reunion were in the same room.

commissioner badges

On the left is the badge worn by Pennsylvania Governor George H. Earle III (1890-1964). It is from the collection of the author, Bob Velke.

On the middle/bottom is the badge worn by Secretary of War Harry Hines Woodring (1887-1967).  It is from the collection of Kevin Himber.

On the right is the badge of Representative Harry Luther Haines (1880-1947) from Pennsylvania.  It is from Mickey McIntire’s collection. 

The gold and silver badges were made by Bailey, Banks & Biddle Co. in Philadelphia and each is engraved with the name of the recipient on the reverse.  The top bar of Representative Haines’ badge (on the right) is original while those of the other two are reproductions.  Apparently, over the years, the bar was easily detached and lost.

The collectors suppose that there were perhaps 15 or 16 of these badges originally.  They were presented to the 9 members of the Pennsylvania Commission, the 5 members of the Federal Commission, the Governor of Pennsylvania, and perhaps the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Rob. L. Roy.

What a beautiful sight!

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