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Post office clerks began collecting strong red, white, and blue string, rolling it onto a ball and passing it on to the next post office to express their support for the Union effort in the Civil War. Accompanying the ball was this paper scroll on which the clerks wrote messages and sometimes drew images.
The Patriotic Ball no longer exists.
Jack Bachelder, a clerk in the Utica, N.Y., post office, began the ball and scroll on April 17, 1862. The scroll contains 66 post office handstamps or manuscript signatures, 53 from Maine. It is 3 1/2 inches wide and 37 feet long.
The scroll was sent from Utica to Bangor by rail and out from there by stage. It was torn off at Rockport.
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