By CourtesyJune 5, 2018
During the 2015 field season, archaeologists with Colorado State University's Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands unearthed a Bucyrus-Erie Co. pocket watch fob.
The pocket watch fob is made of metal and has a leather strap with a metal buckle attached to it. The design on it is of a Bucyrus-Erie shovel and dump truck with the words "Bucyrus Erie" on the front and "Metal Arts Co." on the back.
Watch fobs were used as advertisement for marketing purposes, especially prior to World War II. Watch fobs not only served as a form of advertisement, but also had a functional use as a weight to hold the strap close to the body and allow for easy removal of the watch from a pocket.
The pocket watch fob found at Fort McCoy was distributed by Bucyrus-Erie Co., a heavy-machinery company that sold surface and underground mining equipment. It manufactured bulldozer (straight blade) and bullgrader (angled blade) blades, cable control units, scrapers, rippers and rollers, and tractor shovels.
The company started out as the Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Co. in Bucyrus, Ohio, in 1880. In 1893, the company moved to Milwaukee and became known as Bucyrus Steam Shovel and Dredge Co. of Wisconsin.
It went through several name changes before merging with Erie Steam Shovel Co. and becoming Bucyrus-Erie Co. in 1927.
All archaeological work conducted at Fort McCoy was coordinated by the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.
Visitors and employees are reminded they should not collect artifacts on Fort McCoy or other government lands and leave the digging to the professionals.
Anyone who excavates, removes, damages, or otherwise alters or defaces any historic or prehistoric site, artifact, or object of antiquity on Fort McCoy is in violation of federal law.
The discovery of any archaeological artifact should be reported to the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch at 608-388-8214.
(Article prepared by Colorado State University Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands.)