Dating scovill buttons
Note that it is very important in dating buttons to analyze the backmark.
I listed some good reference books in the first post. There is a very rare version of the eagle and horizontal anchor, with the anchor pointing the opposite direction from those worn during the Civil War through to the present. According to Tice, “Less than ten specimens of this button made around 1835-1855 have been found by the author.”(sources: Earlier US Navy buttons worn prior to the Civil War, made from the 1830’s to the early 1850’s, were of a design with the familiar eagle and anchor as with later designs, but the anchor was upright.
In 1946 Congress permanently transferred the Commerce Department's Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation to the Coast Guard, thereby placing merchant marine licensing and merchant vessel safety under its purview.” (sources: , by Alphaeus H.
Albert)Pictured are buttons from the various services that eventually became part of the US Coast Guard.
These types were used right up through WWII, although the NA112 type became much less common after the Civil War.(source: , by Alphaeus H.
Albert)Although both of the buttons pictured below were made by the same manufacturer, D.
There were many different manufacturers, and different backmarks made by the same manufacturers due to different dies or special backmarks for a customer (with their name or company).
Many were American manufacturers; there were also several British and a few French manufacturers as well.
(source: The lettered eagle buttons in the US Army had their counterparts in the Confederate States Army, they simply had the letter (no eagle).
The eagle appeared on many of the general staff buttons, but not on the Confederate general service nor the letter buttons.
His book, the first book listed below, is a must for US military button collectors, as well as various other references on buttons and backmarks.
Books in my library on US Military buttons include: The design of US Navy Officer’s buttons prior to WWII, in use from 1852 until 1941, was an eagle facing left standing on a horizontal anchor.
There were other buttons made this way, such as GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) veteran’s buttons.