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Volume 5, Issue 9

Page 5

J. Harold Cobb's George Washington Inaugural Button Collection   
By John Markley as taken from information on the web site: http://mosc95.pld.com/kirk/CobbGW/index.html

(Continued from page 1)

dent is growing daily.
Mr. Cobb's original book contained a forward that this writer believes should be restated in this publication as it is so true today and will be more true as time goes on.
Mr. Cobb said that a collector who shall remain nameless wrote in 1953 the following statement: "Economically, each of us acts like a Robinson Crusoe on his own little island of interest -- we fail to arouse the interest of new people and thus encourage competition for ourselves. Each guards his own particular island of interest. Yet, unless such competition is encouraged, who will appreciate his collection? Who will know anything of the vast amount of information one has acquired about the subject he collects and each of the pieces in his collection? Usually the collector dies with his knowledge lost. This is perhaps the most serious loss of all -- this loss of knowledge -- because often the collector's sources of knowledge are also dead." And that statement was the basic reason for the compilation of facts and pictures presented by Mr. Cobb in his original book. All collectors owe him a great deal for without his devotion to the subject, his long hours spent in the detailed research, the volumes of correspondence he undertook and then the painstaking preparation of his manuscript, all this just so other collectors might have a better understanding of the Buttons and Medalets of George Washington, our first President.

Elmer A. Piercy APIC #19 Victorville, Calif. 1968.

In September, 2002, Harold's labor gained new light with the death of Joan Cobb Thuran, wife of Harold's son, Lloyd. In her effects were Harold's scrapbook, and several copies of his manuscript, and most importantly, his collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons.
Harold's grandchildren, whom include my wife and her brothers, appointed me to research the buttons, and using Harold's work we were able to successfully auction off the collection. I retained an interest in the subject even after the sale, and wish to honor Harold's research by making it available once again. In doing so, I will be including information from the Stack's of New York catalogue and the research done by numismatic expert, Michael J. Hodder.
Kirk Mitchell

George Washington Inaugural Buttons and Medalets 1789-1793

This check list of metallic material related to George Washington, our first President, who was born in 1732 and died in 1799, contains approximately seventy major and minor variations, all of which are known to the compiler either through specimens in his own collection or in collections of others, or from photographs of items in Museum collections.

No attempt has been made to include in this list varieties not supported by specimens examined or photographs examined. Variations have been considered by the compiler to represent a difference in border impressions, metal content, whether intentional or unintentional, however minute.
Your compiler has inspected over two hundred specimens of Washington Inaugurals, often referred to as "GWs". Few of the buttons herein listed have been described from any but good to very fine specimens. It is thought that the data provided should be sufficient to distinguish every variety mentioned and permit the most rapid cross reference to photographs thereof already published. Any variation in millimeter diameter of specimens may be due to wear.
It is assumed that the collector and student of these buttons will be familiar with one of more of the standard works on GW buttons. These include"
"Uniform Buttons" by David F. Johnson 1948 pp.172-175 inc.
"Washington Historical Buttons" by A. H. Albert 1949 pp 39-49
"A Century of Campaign Buttons 1789-1889" by J. Doyle DeWitt 1959 pp 1-6 inc.
"Political Campaign & Commemorative Buttons" by A. H. Albert 1966 pp 1-25 inc.
"The Collector's Encyclopedia of Buttons" by Sally C. Luscomb 1967 pp 214-218 inc.
"Records of American Uniform and Historical Buttons" by A. H. Albert 1976
"Medallic Portraits of Washington" by Rulau and Fuld
Some of these authorities contain valuable particulars explanatory of the designs of the buttons , not repeated here.
The principle collections in the United States, known to the author (as of 1968), are those of A. H. Albert of Highstown, N.J., J. Doyle DeWitt of Hartford, Conn., Arthur and Ruth Wilson of Lexington, Mass., Winthrop and Helen Richmond of Acton, Mass., L. Kirk Mosler of Philadelphia, Pa., Waterbury Companies Inc. Museum, Waterbury, Conn., Lightner Museum, St. Augustine, Florida, J. H. Cobb, Hamden, Conn., Ferdinand O'Brien of Chicago, Ill. and Elmer Piercy, Victorville, Calif.
Needless to say, the compiler will feel most grateful to receive photographs or even rubbings of varieties not apparently included in this list, or to inspect original specimens kindly submitted to him. It is hoped that the facts connected with the various patterns presented herein for your enjoyment will fill a void left by other references to these historic buttons.
J. Harold Cobb Hamden, Conn.

The First Inaugural April 30, 1789

George Washington's first inaugural was postponed for various reasons from March 4th to April 30, 1789 when the inau

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