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October 19, 2014 at 10:40 pm #12781fred j borgmannParticipant
Milwaukee D M V Badge
I love collecting items that almost no one else does and this is one such item. This little gold plated and blue enameled cross, 23.3 mm across is marked “Schwaab Stamp & Seal, Milwaukee” in an oval on the back so I would estimate this badge was made circa 1888-1910. In this day and age most people would think Department of Motor Vehicles when they see the letters DMV which would be wrong since this is a military veterans badge. The largest veterans group in the US at the time was the Grand Army of the Republic which used the initials G. A. R. The D.M.V. was not part of the GAR but did have many chapters through out the USA and some of the DMV members were also members of the GAR. The DMV is an association for Germany military veterans who immigrated to America, Deutscher Militaer Verein. At this point some background information may help. Prussia and the other German states before 1871 and Imperial Germany after 1871 did not let young men of military age leave the country until after they had served their time in the military. In Germany military units recruited their manpower from home districts and towns which meant that many of the young soldiers served with their school and hometown friends and neighbors in the traditional infantry, artillery or cavalry unit from their town. Naturally this instilled the German veteran with a combined hometown – military Esprit-de-Corps. Many of the early1848-49 German immigrants served with the Union Army during the Civil War making them eligible for membership in the DMV as where their children and grandchildren who only served in the US military. Interestingly another requirement for membership in the German Veterans associations was US citizenship or that the prospective member had applied for it.
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