The Soldier’s Pullchain Rosary

3 Jul

The Soldier's Pullchain Rosary

In 1916, military chaplains of the United States Armed Services began to give strong metal rosaries to the soldiers of World War I.  These rosaries became known as pullchain rosaries because the links connecting the decades of beads were similar to the links used on pullchain light cords of the time.

Nearly indestructible, the metal rosaries were designed to withstand the rough conditions of war.  While soldiers were grateful to receive rosaries, many painted their beads a dull black ( a process known as bluing)  so that they would not shine on the battlefield and reveal a soldier’s location to the enemy.

The soldier’s pullchain rosary is highly valued today.  Collectors have appraised these World War I rosaries at values ranging from $75.00 to $200.00.


 To learn more about antique and unusual rosaries, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner.  This 152 page hardcover reference book, published by Schiffer Publishing, has over 200 color photographs of rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and center medals ranging those owned by England’s King Henry VIII to those honoring Pope Francis.  The Rosary Collector’s Guide answers the questions of antique lovers, historians, and those seeking to learn more about family heirlooms.  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available at Barnes and Noble,, the Catholic Faith Store, Adoremus, and other book stores, religious article stores, and online sellers.



5 Responses to “The Soldier’s Pullchain Rosary”

  1. Mary July 3, 2016 at 2:50 PM #

    Interesting story about the Soldier’s rosary. I was impressed with the soldier’s painting them black so that they would not shine in battle. What great dedication they had to the rosary!!!


    • rosarycollector July 3, 2016 at 5:26 PM #

      Yes, recently there was another story in the news about a solider who carried his rosary in Afghanistan. Rosaries have also been found at the Alamo and other battlefields.


  2. Giovanna Lottes July 3, 2016 at 3:46 PM #

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } A perfect weekend for the soldier ‘s rosary 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  3. Edie July 7, 2016 at 8:59 PM #

    I’ve heard many stories of our warriors’ commitment to Our Lord. Touching the rosary today made it real to me. Thanks.


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