Today I’d like to show you my sweetheart compact. Pieces such as this were popular during World War II. Soldiers sent them to their wives and girlfriends as tokens of remembrance. Sweetheart compacts are often considered “crossover” collectibles, as they appeal to collectors of both militaria and vanity items. For more information, see Marie Brown’s article on sweetheart collectibles.
My compact came from Fort Knox, Kentucky. Originally known as Camp Knox, the site was designated as a permanent garrison in 1932. It was used by the U.S. Army Air Corps and later by the U.S. Army Air Forces as a training base. It was also the headquarters for the 1st Armored Division in 1940. Since 1937, Fort Knox has held the U.S. Bullion Depository.
There were many styles of sweetheart compacts. Some were mass-produced, while others were personalized. My compact has a hand painted eagle and “U.S. Army, Fort Knox, KY” lettering on the front. On the back is a lovely stamped art deco design. When opened, the mirrored compact still has its original blush and powder puffs.