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Artifact Friday: A Fork

In the museum world, there is a difference between accepting a “collection” and accepting an “artifact” into the archives.

When a museum accepts an artifact, it is an individual item or three or four individual items; however, when a museum accepts a collection, they accept the entirety of a person’s life and story.

This is what the post is about today, an item in the collection of Field E. Kindley. Due to the generosity of Kindley’s relatives, the Arkansas Air and Military Museum is able to house and display the Field Kindley’s collection detailing his life story.

This week while researching the different collection pieces, I found a commemorative fork.

A fork? Yes, a fork. It was first assumed this fork was a part of Kindley’s mess kit while overseas during World War One. But upon closer examination, this fork was specifically made in honor of Field Kindley’s second birthday-March 13, 1898.

In the mid-nineteenth century, a company was created-1847 Roger’s Bros. The date was only a part of the trademarking process as the company was actually founded in 1862.

A part of this company’s marketing scheme was advertising the creation of silver sets for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.

Kindley’s family members dubbed his second birthday a momentous occasion, so they had a keepsake silver set engraved in his honor.

An interesting note is that Kindley’s second birthday happened a few short months prior to his mother’s untimely death that same year.

If you are ever needing a unique idea to commemorate a special occasion, don’t rule out the possibility of a personally engraved silver set!

By: Hallie Cartwright

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