For many years, I collected city and local medals for World War I service and always liked medals that were out of the ordinary. Here’s one that fills the bill. It’s a 1st Telegraph Battalion World War I Service Medal, mounted on a black ribbon as a fob, but that’s not the unusual aspect of it. FloydMedals A-2407 obv.jpg
The unusual part is that this piece is a salesman’s sample, engraved to show just how the medals would be personalized for each veteran.[attachment=1]FloydMedals A-2407 rev.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]img101.jpg[/attachment] FloydMedals A-2407 rev.jpg img101.jpg
Congratulations on a rare find. Judging by the black ribbon, which usually implies a memorial piece, I do not think this is for that purpose. I am inclined to think these were made as use for a watch fob. Men still had such watches around the post WW l period. What do you think?
This piece was certainly made as a fob. I can’t remember if other pieces of this type are on the black ribbon or another style, and the only other example I have on hand has clearly been reribboned. Perhaps another forum member has an example with an original ribbon.
I’ve been re-thinking calling this one a "salesman’s sample". I suspect that a more accurate description would be "trial strike" or "approval specimen". The major manufacturers were known to have made generic examples of WWI service medals that showed the various design elements that could be chosen. In this case, however, I doubt that any maker would cut two intricate dies on speculation that a unit would buy the product. That’s a lot of cost if you don’t have a high likelihood of return on investment. It’s more likely that the maker worked from a design provided by the unit (or approved by the unit) and produced a limited run to test the dies and get final approval before the full run was struck.