Sep 02, 2012, 10:03 PM
Probably Our Most Significant Historical and Least Common Find
Howdy All. We dug this on 04/14/12 at an 1880 farmhouse in Central Florida. We hunt several home and farm sites locally from the late 1800's to 1930's and find many of the same relics that I have seen posted on T-Net (harmonica pcs, ammo, makeup items, buckles, old glass, buttons, tack and car parts, coins, tokens, household goods, toys, tools, keys and locks, etc.) but I have yet to see anything posted like this relic.
It was patented in on August 1, 1865 and was made by a leather goods manufaturer in based in France and NY City. At first I did not realize the siginificance of this item. Growing up in the south I have heard the term "carpet bagger" and "scalawag"... I believe this brass piece may have belonged to one! Carpet baggers and scalawags were southerners who immediately after the Cival War exploited the South in the name of reconstruction.
The item pictured was a valise or carpet bag latch of that era. It was patented by Bernard Stienmetz on 8/1/1865, 108 days after Lincoln was assasinated at Fords Theater. It has (34) stars on one side, the same number of states in the Union from 1861 to 1863. While I don't know if it actually belonged to a carpet bagger and the dates are little off regarding the number of stars and states in the Union in 1865, I am convinced of both conclusions. (Can you blame me?)
Patent US49207 - BERNARD STEINMETZ - Google Patents
Incidentally we dug it one day shy of the 147th anniversary of Lincoln's assaination...far-out and solid huh?
My wife thinks I going through a mid-life crisis but I can't seem to get enough of this hobby and finds like this make it worse. Thanks for the view and may the finds be with you.
Sep 02, 2012, 10:42 PM
Sep 02, 2012, 10:45 PM
Sep 02, 2012, 10:47 PM
A nice piece of history and reminder to all that there was nothing civil about the War of Northern Aggression.....Well done!!
Respect the research and permissions of others...
Sep 02, 2012, 11:15 PM
You may be aware the R. Neumann and Co. business and building in NY still existed as of just a few years ago--and may still. If they do, they may be able to shed more light on your find.
Try: R. Newmann and Co.
Description – Leather Goods Manufacturers
Address – 300 Observer Hwy, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030-8410
Telephone – (201) 659-3400
Sep 03, 2012, 12:16 AM
Very cool find but the carpet baggers and skaliwags were from the North exploiting the South Sir haha. We were just protecting our women and children.
Nice find c-9 and HH to ya.
Sep 03, 2012, 06:39 AM
Hello Tnmountains. I stand corrected. I should have indicated that Carpetbaggers and Skalawags were opportunists mostly from the north not the south looking for easy gains to be made in the impoverished Confederate States...we still have them here...they are now called "politicians".
Originally Posted by Tnmountains
Thanks for the correction to my typo. HH C9
Sep 03, 2012, 08:26 AM
Nice historicle find.
Sep 03, 2012, 09:12 AM
Relic Hunter & Raconteur Extraordinaire
Ok, this is far too important distinction not to get it right. A "Carpetbagger" was actually a person from the North who came to the South after the WBTS to take advantage of the decimated economy and impoverished Southerners. The earned their name because of the luggage bags they often carried - made from used carpets.
Originally Posted by cambria09
A "Scalawag" was a whole different animal. This was a Southerner who supported Reconstruction after the WBTS, - even the most abusive aspects of it - for his own personal gain and advantage.
Sep 03, 2012, 09:16 AM
Hello Old Stonewall. Dang I am corrected again. You are right this is too important to get wrong. Thanks for the clarification, I always thought that C-baggers and Salawags were one and the same. Thanks again and good hunting to you. C9
Originally Posted by Old Stonewall
Sep 03, 2012, 11:19 AM
Do not forget me 24601
That's something I would have never thought of finding. Not that I'd find one in Indiana. Great bit of history.
Sep 03, 2012, 12:30 PM
Man I just love items like this ! Nice find, Congrats !!!!
Sep 03, 2012, 12:47 PM
I like thinking that your latch came off while the carpetbagger was being beat on the head with it by an intended Southern victim! Noting the crack, it all fits nicely.
"Have Garrett, Will Travel"
Sep 03, 2012, 05:44 PM
Here is an image from the US Patent and Trademark and Trademark Office.
It is a bag lock, I looked it up by the Patent number
Sep 03, 2012, 05:48 PM
And here is the text that goes along with it
edit! Haha! I just noticed the Google link you put in your original post. I feel like a dork.
Last edited by Jess; Sep 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM.
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