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.
Evans & Co., there is this difference between the flukes of the anchor, as well as other die variations in the eagle, stars, and even button size.
There are many different backmarks for US Navy buttons dating from the 1850’s and 1860’s, as well as many post-Civil War backmarks.
“The shift of the eagle's aspect to right-facing from left-facing is logical from the perspective of heraldic tradition, since the right side (dexter) is the honor side of the shield and the left side (sinester) indicates dishonor or illegitimacy.” (source: the buttons in the picture, those on the left are Civil War-era, those on the right are from a WWII US Navy uniform (my father-in-law’s).Note too how the eagle on the Coast Guard buttons (at the bottom) changed from facing left to facing right at the same time as with the US Navy in 1941.The US Life Saving Service button pictured in the previous post – second row, far right - is a reversible button with a threaded shank.(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.