Posted 4 years ago
Civil War era German American Turners Society Belt Buckle
This Civil War era German American Turners Society Belt Buckle was made sometime from the 1860’s-70’s by Charles Kleinsteuber of Milwaukee. Though it is not signed there can be no doubt that he made this based on very similar buckles that are signed by him. Kleinsteuber was a machinist and engraver on 3rd and State street. He made the first typewriter for inventor C.L. Sholes and Milwaukee’s first fire and police electric call boxes. He also issued a post Civil War token. The buckle is large, 3 ¼ inches by 2 5/8 inches of engraved silver plated bronze or brass and weighs about 3.5 oz. In the center is a wreath of laurel and oak leaves with the German words “Gut Heil” (good health) below a crossed sword and torch. In the corners are the words “FRISCH” “FREI” “STARK” TREU” (fresh, free, strong, loyal) all healthy and military virtues which explains why the Turners and veterans societies had such very overlapping membership rosters.