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1918 FDR Signed Letter and WWI Binoculars
Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $1,160.00
In times of war the U.S. citizenry is known for its sacrifice and dedication to the cause in any way possible. During the First World War that support often took the form of equipment donated to the military, as exemplified here. Offered are binoculars and case, volunteered to the U.S. Navy in WWI, along with a citation, and letter of thanks signed by then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The typed letter (along with postmarked envelope), dated "January 11, 1918," on Navy Department letterhead (8.5 x 11), and addressed to "Mr. Richard Stephen Tener, 5633 Northumberland, Pittsburgh, Pa.," reads: "Dear Sir: Your prompt and patriotic response to the NAVY'S call for binoculars is most appreciated. The glasses will be very useful in the prosecution of Naval Operations until victory is won. At the termination of the war, if possible, every effort will be made to return them to you when it is hoped that you will feel compensated for any evidence of wear, by the knowledge that you have supplied 'Eyes for the NAVY!' during a very trying period. On behalf of the NAVY, I wish to thank you most heartily. Very respectfully, Franklin D Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy." The black ink signature is bold and flawless ("10"). The letter exhibits two horizontal mail creases, light toning and a dampstain at the lower left that touches on two words of the text. The letter is accompanied by a printed Department of Navy citation (8.5 x 11 inches) issued as a certificate of appreciation to Mr. Tener and facsimile-signed FDR (light toning, dampstain, foxing). And lastly, also included with the signed letter and citation are the actual binoculars which had been loaned, and which indeed had been returned, still in their original hard leather case with strap and containing a identification sticker inside from "Office Inspector,/Engineering Material U.S. Navy,/Navy Department/Official Business." Roosevelt resigned his seat in the New York State Senate to become President Wilson's Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-1920), serving throughout World War I. This is a fascinating lot which tells a story of support of U.S. troops by an American citizen during World War I, and the appreciation of this support as expressed by future president FDR in his official capacity as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Total 3 items (FDR letter, citation, binoculars with case). LOA from James Spence, Steve Grad & John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $1,160.00
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