Victorian Sterling Ketcham McDougall Thimble, Size 7
Most Ketcham & McDougall thimbles are in the hands of collectors these days. This thimble comes to us from the estate of Ms. Mary Marta Votaw. The thimble originally belonged to her mother who was a seamstress. Mary was daughter to Martha and Wallace Votaw; born in Marshall, Texas on October 23, 1916. She and her siblings grew up in Dallas, Texas. Mary was excited to be one of the first women to start a career in the CIA to help the war effort; she took her Civil Service entrance exam as soon as her parents allowed. She headed to Washington, where she was one of the first five women to receive national security clearance and was sent abroad. She lived in Italy, France, Spain with in later in her career had many assignments in Israel. She spent her whole career working for the Pentagon before retiring in 1971. She then moved to Austin, Texas to be near her sister and brother-in-law, Diana and Wendell. Her second career was volunteering for Seton Hospital and traveling the world. Ms. Votaw never married or had children, but enjoyed her nieces and nephews in her later years. On November 18, 2010, Ms. Votaw passed in Austin, Texas.
The thimble is in working order and in very good condition, with only light wear (please view photos.) It is round with NO major dents, cracks breaks. The Ketcham & McDougall manufactures mark is stamped inside thimble top. They began using this mark in the late 1800's. The thimble was a gift and is engraved with, " S.A.W.C to Marta". The size 7 is also stamped on the side band. A beautiful design and a perfect gift for a collector.
Established in 1832, they were referred to as 'The Thimble House' because their business was pretty much limited in the specialty of that sewing necessity; producing nearly two-thirds of all the marked American thimbles. They then expanded to retractable pencil jewelry and and functional silver items. They opened a manufacturing location in East Orange, New Jersey in 1939 and eventually closed in 2003.
* Solid Sterling Silver (tested)
* Maker Ketcham & McDougall
* Size 7
* 13/16" inch tall
* 5.69 grams
* c. 1880's-1910