Mildred Nell Pin Collection

The USWCA Pin Collection dates back to 1948 when an official United States Women's Curling Association bonspiel pin was designed.  

In 1954 the Association voted to adopt the shape of the United States map as the background for its official pins. Each individual member of the USWCA is entitled to wear the pin. In 1967 consideration was made for a new pin to include Alaska. Three pin designs were submitted, but it was voted unanimously to keep the USWCA pin in its original form. By 1992 new membership pins, finally including Alaska, were designed and available for purchase.

Member clubs have always had club pins, and it was in 1955 that a collection of these pins was started. Each club has its own pin - many are designed in keeping with the club's name. For example: the Appleton Tam O'Shanter's pin depicts a Tam O'Shanter, the Exmoor Highlander's a Scottish Glengarry tam, the Indian Hill Squaws an Indian maiden, the Skokie Thistles a thistle, and the Wauwatosa Granites a curling stone. These clubs are the founding members of the Association. As each new club joins the USWCA it sends one of its pins to be added to the national collection.

From its inception, the pin collection was watched over by Mrs. Erwin Nell of the Wauwatosa Granites. After her death in 1964 Mr. Nell presented a portable showcase for the pins to the USWCA in her memory. The collection was officially named the "Mildred Nell Collection" at that time.

Other special pins have been added to the collection including: each year's nationally sponsored event pins, as well as pins struck for exchange tours and commemorations.

US Curling News, February 1973
As printed in the USWCA Historical Review

History of the USWCA

On February 26,1946, during inter-club curling at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, it was suggested a national women's curling association be formed. The idea was enthusiastically received. An appointed committee framed a constitution which was presented to representatives of the five founding clubs - Appleton, Exmoor, Indian Hill, Skokie and Wauwatosa - in October, 1947. The constitution was adopted and the USWCA was founded. The USWCA presently consists of 66 clubs with a membership of 3,183.

The first National Bonspiel was held at Wauwatosa in 1949. The USWCA is divided into four areas - East, Central, Wisconsin and West. The National Bonspiel has rotated annually among these four areas ever since.

Constitutional and policy changes initiated in 1986 have been responsible for major changes in the curling organizations in this country. The USWCA, which organized and sponsored the first US Women's Championship in 1977, turned over this responsibility, and ICF representation, to the USCA, which now organizes all curling in the US leading to national, world championship and Olympic play.

The USWCA now focuses their attention on their national bonspiels (National and Senior National), their Junior National Bonspiel, the All American (country-wide 'in club' events), their 5 Year and Under (regional events), and the two ladies' tours between both Scotland and Canada with the United States. The first Scot Tour occurred in 1955 and the first United States sponsored Canadian/US Senior Friendship Tour occurred in 1990. All USWCA competitions are played under USCA rules.

The USWCA is the oldest national curling organization in the United States. The Board of Directors consists of one representative from each club, plus officers and committee chairmen, who meet semi-annually. The USWCA operates in cooperation with the USCA to "promote and conserve the best interests of the game of curling throughout the US; to cultivate friendly relations among its member clubs; to preserve the traditions and literature of the game and to promote international friendship" as a part of its purpose.

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