Posted 2 years ago
Illustrated here is a Wisconsin National Guard Sharp Shooters Badge. The original owner of this badge was probably Sgt. Adolph R. Patzer of Company D, 1st Infantry (Milwaukee). I say probably because none of the medals in this grouping are named. In any event Patzer lost an eye to an accident of some sort while teaching marksmanship indoors to his company in 1911. Even with the loss of an eye he continued on as a crack shot and was on the Wisconsin State Team at the National Match of 1912 at Camp Perry. To compensate him for his loss Wisconsin paid Patzer $500 which doesn’t sound like a lot of money today. To put that amount in today’s terms I will use the current prices of gold and silver. As I write this Gold is $1469. per oz. and Silver is @24.24 per oz. Had Sgt. Patzer taken his payment in 500 silver dollars the silver content would be worth $9,283. Had he taken his money in 25 gold double eagles ($20 coins) the gold value at today’s price would have been $35,539. Which gives us an idea of the purchasing power of $500 in 1911.