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Brooch.  (1) A large insignia, pin, or medallic jewelry item with a clasp on the reverse to be attached to a garment or hat. Once worn only by men, brooches have evolved to a decorative and jewelry item long past their utilitarian function of fastening sections of garments together. The ancient form of brooch, the fibula, was, in effect, the first safety pin. Throughout the years it became engraved, enameled or gem encrusted. In modern time it is intended for women only as a decorative jewelry item.

In this manner, medallic brooches were made for women. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company, in 1922, established the Theodore Newton Vail Medal for bestowing to their employees for public service. A label pin was given to men accompanied by the medal (struck in either gold, silver or bronze). For women an attractive brooch was created to accompany the medal. The design of all three medallic items were by Adolph Weinman and struck by Medallic Art Company.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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