Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Mystery of the 1856 Patent Suspender Buckle
By Nicholas Kane
Back in the fall of 2001 I obtained permission to metal detect and dig a fantastic property. This camp produced many 1850s belt clasps and other metallic artifacts such as this suspender buckle. I was familiar with the buckle's 1856 Patent date but not with this elaborate embossing. Like it was yesterday I clearly remember gridding out a slope backwards through four foot tall poison oak that was below a large camp.
The camp was infested with square nails up top and most of the better targets were pitched down the hill where the poison oak happened to be. I spent close to four hours looking for the mate to this buckle with no avail. I never recovered the mate but did get a few hits from items such as a brass frame from a 1/6th plate image, brass shoe tips and a camphene or whale oil lamp burner that I thought were the buckle.
I managed to bring the "poison" home to my wife after immersing myself in the patch and I was in the dog house for quite some time after that. That poison was a beautiful green and just starting to  turn red.

I had a suspicion 15 years ago or so after a few hours of online research what the crossed U.S. and British Naval flag meant. Since that time I realized I really should do some research and see what I could come up with and share my findings with fellow history enthusiasts. I decided to try and find a western connection to the eastern event first for appeal and.... EUREKA!
This buckle dates from the correct period and I strongly believe it was created for this special event, as we all know, was often done during the mid 19th century.


1 comment:

  1. Great research Nick. I have a buckle with the "Pat.1856" on it. Its the size of a silver dollar, but square in shape and fancy detail.