1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 6, 2017 9:09 AM by Rachael Salyer

    Can Anyone Identify this pin from WW2 era?


      This was clipped to a page in a photo album made by my uncle.  The photos showed buildings, classes, and professors at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois.  I believe he received technical training there in 1943-1944 to become a Navy radioman.  So I assume that the brass star is somehow related to his activities during his training there.


      The back of the "pin" has two prongs that were inserted through the paper, and then bent open and apart to secure it.


      I have NO idea at all what this is, or if it's significant.  I would be grateful for any help or ideas for further research.  Thank you all very much.Al's Brass Star.jpgAl's Brass Star_2.jpg

        • Re: Can Anyone Identify this pin from WW2 era?
          Rachael Salyer Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Koehn,


          Thank you for sharing your question with the History Hub.


          Based on the images of the star/sun pin you included in your post and on the location of the pin in a photo album or scrapbook, I assume that the pin is a decorative paper fastener of some sort and not a military decoration or award. The prongs on the back of the pin resemble those found on many fasteners or “brads,” which are typically made out of brass and have a split pin back. You can find a more detailed description here. While I’ve never come across a brad that looks exactly like the one you found, I have seen an extremely wide variety of fasteners while working at the National Archives. The World War II-era records in our custody have a particularly high number of unique and creative fasteners--likely because it was wartime and people used what they had on hand.


          Some examples of fasteners are available here at the website for the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.


          Additionally, you may wish to contact the University Archives at Northwestern University to see if they can offer any insight. Their website is http://www.library.northwestern.edu/libraries-collections/university-archives/index.html.


          And finally, you might also contact the Naval Historical Foundation for further assistance. Their website is http://www.navyhistory.org/.


          Thank you, again, for posting your question to the History Hub, and best of luck with your ongoing search!


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