Letters to the Museum

Slave Collar

. . .from your website of a 2005 article from the Indianapolis Star with the image of a "slave collar" from the collection of D. Michael Bowen: http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/links/newslist/indystar/

Unfortunately, the "slave collar" displayed in this article is a 1970s-era fake. The font used to imprint the letters on the collar tag is easily-recognizable as the popular "Courier" font. The simple fact is that the "Courier" font was developed and copyrighted in 1955 by IBM and did not exist prior to that year.

There are many of these fake "slave collars" and a plethora of fake "slave tags" which circulate and are sold to the unsuspecting and/or unwary who do not contact real experts on the objects before they pay exorbitant prices for them. I belong to a group of historians and collectors who have made it our (unpaid) job to aid eBay in ridding the listings of obvious fakes and help protect the unwary.

"The first law of the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice." - Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

We simply ask that all act upon the facts of history. We invite your questions.

Your Obedient Servant,

Colonel Michael Kelley, CSA
Civil War Historian and Re-enactor
Area of Concentration: The Service of Non-White/Non-Christian Confederate Soldiers and Sailors

-- March 21, 2008


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