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Old 05-02-2010, 09:32 PM
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Chris Wood
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Default 19c uniform belts....help requested

Wanted to get some opinions on the range of value for 19c baseball/fireman's belts. I have a couple and am looking to sell one.

It is similar to the one listed n the REA link below, although it indicates the Hose Co. designation on it. Does this mean that it couldn't be a baseball uniform belt too? Thanks



http://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/...emid=14270#pic
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:53 PM
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Chris Wood
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Default Anyone?

Anyone know more about these belts? Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:01 AM
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Alan Elefson
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Chris-
I am not an expert on these belts but I have always been wary of any without ironclad provenance (e.g. found with an old bat and ball, or with paperwork relating to early baseball). In the absence of such provenance, I assume the belt is fire related. Hopefully others will chime in as well.
Yours in collecting,
Alan Elefson
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:47 PM
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P@u1 R31fer$0n
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Default Baseball belts

I am not at all convinced that New York teams in the 1840s and 1850s, which included hundreds of volunteer firemen, had different belts for fire parades and for baseball. The only baseball-specific, leather firemen's belt I am aware of is the Baraboo belt in the National Baseball Hall of Fame's collection, which has the letters "BBC". But if I am a member of the Excelsior Volunteer Fire Department in Brooklyn, and my friends and I play baseball on a team that includes our fellow volunteer firefighters, should I be expected to have another belt made that includes the letters "BBC"? Why pay the expense? In fact, in the 1859 photograph of the Excelsiors, several different belts can be seen and none say "BBC".

I think of these belts the way I think about turnstiles: even if we know that a certain brand of turnstiles was used at Shibe Park or the Polo Grounds, there is no way to know if a particular example was used at that ballpark or a racetrack or a carnival. No turnstile manufacturer could stay in business just selling to baseball parks; they sold to anyone who needed turnstiles. The question then is: does it matter? Does my Shibe Park display suffer from the turnstile's lack of provenance? Everyone can have their own opinion about that; there is no right answer.
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