Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Culver Military Academy Shenango Plates  

Of the plates pictured - Bob Hartman - says:

    The first became available during June Week of 1932 were produced by the Shenango Company in New Castle, Penn., whose president was James M. Smith, a member of the Culver Class of 1921.

    The set of twelve campus scenes were designed by Col. W.J. O'Callaghan, the Band director. His original pen and ink design captured the beauty of the campus and featured campus buildings, towers, ivy covered walls, and tulip beds. The border of each plate featured the Great Seal and seven small views of the campus.

    The center design included the Mess Hall Tower, the Memorial Building, the Logansport Gate, the Gymnasium ('Little Gym"), the Recreation Building, East, North, South, West, Argonne-Chateau-Thierry, and Main Barracks, and the Riding Hall. Four colors were available: red, green, blue and black and was available for $15.

    Written on the back is: Authorized Limited Edition, Culver Military Academy Plates, 1932, The ___, Shenango China, New Castle, Pa., with the Native American Shenango Logo.

    They measure 10 1/2 inches wide.

    Production of the plates ceased with the start of World War II, but resumed again in 1949. The Alumnus noted that two colors, black and blue, were available at a price of $30 per dozen or $2.75 per plate. For the next six years, the O'Callaghan design continued to be promoted by the Culver Legion

And several years ago I seen in a local antique shop where the same plates were going for ten times the original price of $2.75!!!! An attempt was made to find the original die cast of the Shenango plates in 1988, by the Academy. But by that time many companys had been intermingled into it - and then it was subidvied down and finally closing prementantly in 1989.

Bob Hartman also states there was an attempt to bring back the plates in 1962 -
    A new design of Culver plates was commissioned in 1961 by the Legion and awarded to the John Roth Company of Peoria, Illinois. A set of eight plates was produced by the Staffordshire China Company in England and went on sale in 1962.

    The set included four buildings from the older campus (1911-1924): the Dining Hall, the Administration Building, the Riding Hall, and the Memorial Library. More recent construction provided new campus sites including the Naval Building, Memorial Chapel, Gignilliat Quadrangle, and the Eppley Auditorium. The overall design was done by John Roth (Bill Roth's Father), and the cameo border was designed by Warner Williams, the Academy Artist in Residence.

    They were produced in maroon only and sold for $28 per set or $4, individually. They did not attract the attention of the Academy constituency as did the 1932 plates and production was concluded in the mid-1960s. The dies were shipped to Culver from England and are in storage in the Armory Archives.

David Burns at one time during the 1970's said that somewhere on campus the were crates of these plates stored away -

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