Every now and then I am contacted by someone who thinks I am very smart when in reality I am just passing on information from other sources. Case in point are the Wisconsin Prize Company badges from the late 1890’s into the 1900’s. Most to the best of my knowledge are to companies of the Wisconsin National Guard in the early 1900’s and one from the University of Wisconsin from the year 1898. The purpose behind these badges is an enduring mystery to me. I went through the early Wisconsin Adjutant General’s reports from the early 1900’s and thought I had the mystery solved when I read about the Pfister Trophy which was awarded to the best all around company at the Wisconsin National Guard’s annual summer camp. I gleefully put together a list of the winning companies only to find that some of the companies that I had badges for were not the Pfister Trophy winners for that year. I didn’t feel too smart at that moment. I guess some day I will have to sit down and go through all the reports with a fine tooth comb; make a list of all the awards and the winners and then see if any match my list of known prize company badges. I will illustrate one of these badges below. If you know anything about these please let me know.
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