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Liaison and Service Pilot


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#26 pfrost

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 01:08 PM

Here is what I was talking about above.  Here are a couple of 1 inch wings, one is an AC wing with the Walter Lampl (WL in a shield) and the STERLING with upside down "G" and the other (in the same pattern) is the glider wing with just the STERLING with the upside down "G".  I have also added a photo of the hallmark on a 3 inch Walter Lampl wing with the upside down G.

 

Thus, you can clearly like Walter Lampl (the maker of the 3 inch Juarez wings) to this little 1 inch sweetheart wing that is frequently identified as a Bell Trading post made wing.

 

I believe that somewhere I have (or have seen) this little 1 inch wing with this hallmark (one of the Bell trading post hallmarks.  I haven't found it yet, so I may be wrong.  BUT, if I am correct, and this Bell hallmark shows up on a 1 inch wing, that would link the Bell wings to the Juarez wings.  Of course, it still doesn't exatly link the 3rd type of wing (which I have only seen as a 3 incher) to the other wings, but I am still working on that.

 

The last hallmark is the Bell Trading Post hallmark found on WWII and post WWII era jump wings.

 

Patrick

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  • -sterling-with-bell-wwII.jpg
  • -signpost-excellent-sterling.jpg

Edited by pfrost, 02 March 2014 - 01:14 PM.


#27 pfrost

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:44 PM

So, I finally found one of the items I was looking for (but not all).  In this case, we have a 2 inch Bell pattern wing--I think even Cliff would agree this is a Bell attributable-pattern? 

 

If you look at the 2 inch shirt size Bell patterns you find that MOST of the wings have a raised STERLING mark, but some small precentage (~20-25%--mostly in the pilot patterns) have stamped STERLING mark.  In some of those, you find a few with the STERLING with the upside G, as in this example.  You can see, the "BELL" wing is marked pretty much the same was as some of the 1 inch and 3 inch Walter Lampl Wings!  Not PROOF, of course, that these two wings were made by the same outfit, but not, strictly speaking, fantasy-fever dreams of an over caffeinated wing collector with access ot the internet either!

 

The 3 inch Bell wings (and the other questionable wing), as far as I can recall seeing, ALL have excised STERLING markes (except for a few that have COIN SILVER). 

 

So, in summary....some of the facts show that:

 

You sometimes find the 1 inch sweetheart wings marked with Walter Lampl's hallmark AND a STERLING with upside down G.

You sometimes find the 3 inch Juarez wings marked with Wlater Lampl's hallmark and a STERLING with upside down G.

You sometimes find the 3 inch Juarez wings marked with COIN SILVER.

You sometimes find the 2 inch Bell wing marked with a STERLING with upside down G.

You sometimes find the 3 inch (2nd pattern?) bell wing marked with COIN SILVER.

Both of the Bell? wings have almost identicle STERLING marks, pins and findings as well as very similar quality finish and construction.

 

The Juarez and Bell wings can be traced (more or less) to SW USA or Mexico.

 

There may be a Bell marked 1 inch sweetheart wing in the same pattern as the 1 inch WL marked wing (but I cannot currently find a picture so this is a pending fact).

 

I am probably wrong and someone will correct me, but that is why I have always kind of thought that the Juarez, Bell and the other Bell(?) were made by the same company. 

 

Frankly, other than these wings, I don't EVER recall seeing another wing with a STERLING mark where the G was upside down.  To me, this says that it is more than likely the same stamps were being used on very similar wings.  In fact, if you compare the Lample and Bell wings... you see that the stamp even has the same defect on the inside leg of the "N"!

Attached Images

  • Bell 2 inch comp.jpg

Edited by pfrost, 02 March 2014 - 02:50 PM.


#28 pfrost

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 04:18 PM

Ok, I found the wing marked with the Bell hallmark.  It is a USN 1 inch wing, however.  Still, it does look like the other 1 inch wings.  At least we can be sure that at least one wing was made by Bell. 

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  • bell wing.jpg


#29 pfrost

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:10 PM

Tonight I pulled out my little boxes of 1.5 and 2 inch sweetheart wings and laid them all out.  I think I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Walter Lampl either contracted out with Bell, Bell contracted with Walter Lampl or both firms used the same manufacturer to make the 1.5 inch sweetheart wings.  

 

Keep in mind post#26 above:  First, here is a smattering of 6 of the little 1.5 inch wings from my collection.  Bombardier, flight surgeon, observer, aircrewman, gunner and glider (I am sure I have others but I tend to squirrel these little buggers away and then loose them).

 

I think we can all agree that they are all the same pattern as each other and the same pattern as in post #26 (the Walter Lampl hallmarked piece).

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  • Bell1.jpg


#30 pfrost

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:15 PM

When you turn them over, you find that 3 of the 6 are marked with a STERLING mark with an upside down G (just like the wings in post #26 above), 2 are marked with a STERLING mark with a normal G, and 1 is marked with the Bell Trading Post hallmark (the gunner wing)! 

 

All the wings have the exact same hinge and pin, but 3 are "C" catches, 2 use the weak style "Juarez-type" catch, and 1 has a more typical catch for WWII vintage wings.

Attached Images

  • Bell2.jpg


#31 pfrost

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:39 PM

Finally, the gunner wing.  This has incised Bell hallmark  (see post #26 and #28). 

 

I think I have been able to show conclusively, that AT LEAST FOR THE 1.5 inch wings, both can (rarely) be found with either Walter Lampl's hallmark or the Bell Trading Post Hallmark.  They also frequently show a diagnostic and characteristic STERLING hallmark with an upside down G. 

 

Recall that Walter Lampl was located in New York and it has been shown that the contracted some work in Mexico during WWII.  I suspect that they may have been using either Bell Trading Post (if they were manufacturing 1.5 inch wings) or another company that was ALSO making wings for Bell.

 

As for the 2 inch wings, other than some of the "Bell-attributed" wings having the same typo-error in the sterling mark as some of the 1.5 inch wings (and the same pin and hinge/catch findings), there is little other "proof", BUT if I had to guess, I would think the 2 inch wings were also made or contracted by the same place that made the 1.5 inch wings.

 

Finally, the 3 inch wings.  Russ and I agree (If I can speak for him) that you never seem to find a 3 inch Bell wing with anything other than an excised hallmark.  But I think reasonable people can agree that the two patterns of wings (the Bell and the maybe-Bell), do share lots of similarities.  As to whether or not the 3 inch Juarez wing was made by the same company as the Bells??? I think yes, but there is honestly no proof.  Another collector once assured me that I was totally incorrect and the Juarez wings were made in New Jersey (I just say that to be fair to him), but I think he is the one who has incorrect information.  Certainly, the 1.5 and 3 inch Juarez (Walter Lampl wings) are very similar in that they use the same findings and STERLING with upside down G.

 

So, after spending ALL day screwing around on the net and in my collection, I think I can say to Cliff that I have provided at least SOME proof to some of  his concerns that we (I) were spreading hearsay and myths about the Bell/Juarez connection.  

 

Later, I will discuss my theory of how the Empirical-Little Fabricators of Keebler Ohio may actually the company involved.

Attached Images

  • bell3a.jpg

Edited by pfrost, 02 March 2014 - 11:45 PM.


#32 skypilot6670

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 03:51 AM

Excellant posting.A very convincing presentation. Thanks you all very much. Mike

#33 rustywings

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:15 AM

Patrick,

 

I really appreciate your efforts in this thread!  Over the years I've seen dozens of those small silver USN Aviator wings, but never associated them with the Bell Trading Company.  The example you posted is the first I've seen with the Bell hallmark. Excellent stuff! 

 

Here's a "COIN SILVER" marked 1 & 3/8's inch Bombardier pin which likely fits right into your Bell/Lampl study.

 

 

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#34 5thwingmarty

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 06:02 AM

Russ, do you have or have you seen a 2" Bell glider wing where the sterling is marked with the raised letters?  The few examples I have seen or can find images of all have the incised letters on the 2" glider wings, while the other types of 2" and 3" Bell wings (most common pattern) have the raised letters.



#35 rustywings

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 02:28 PM

Russ, do you have or have you seen a 2" Bell glider wing where the sterling is marked with the raised letters?  The few examples I have seen or can find images of all have the incised letters on the 2" glider wings, while the other types of 2" and 3" Bell wings (most common pattern) have the raised letters.

 

Marty,

 

I've never seen a two-inch Bell pattern Glider Pilot with raised "STERLING" hallmarks. I'm not prepared to say they don't exist...especially since we know Bell made both Liaison Pilot and Service Pilot in shirt-sizes with that raised letter characteristic. But all of the shirt-size Glider Pilot wings that I have seen so far have had solid backs and incised lettering.

 

Regarding your question in frame # 22 concerning wing dimensions, yes there is a 2 mm difference in width between the two patterns. The top Glider Pilot badge example in frame #17 is approximately 76 mm in width...and the bottom Glider Pilot badge is approximately  78 mm wide.

 

Russ



#36 rustywings

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 10:40 AM

Seeing this carded Bell wing for sale on ebay this morning reminded me again of Patrick's ideas posted above. 

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#37 CliffP

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:58 AM

Bell Trading Company

 

The Bell Trading Company was founded in 1935 by Jack Mickleson and his wife Mildred.  The company got its name from Mildred whose maiden name was Bell.

 

Over the years numerous hallmarks were used by Bell.  They typically included the image of a bell or that of a bell sign hanging from a post.  Show below are seven of the hallmarks that are known to have been used by Bell.

 

In 1972 the company name was changed to Sunbell Corporation. 

 

Cliff

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  • Sterling with Bell wwII  .jpg

Edited by CliffP, 27 March 2014 - 11:15 AM.


#38 5thwingmarty

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:29 AM

Russ, I meant to ask if the fronts and backs of the wings you posted pictures of in posts 20 and 21 are of the same two pilot wings.

 

Also, I just picked up another two-piece gunner wing that I thought was a little prettier than my other one, more patina and less that bright silver.  The newer wing (to me) also has an incised sterling mark to the right of the center circle instead of the raised letter one in the center of the circle.

 

Please forgive that I swapped the wings when I flipped them over.  The top wing in the top photo is the bottom wing in the bottom photo.

 

Marty

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#39 5thwingmarty

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:55 AM

I also picked up the 2" Service Pilot wing not too long ago.  It was made by attaching a separate S to a standard 2" Bell pilot wing, which appears to be one of the older striking's as it has the incised STERLING with the upside down G. 

 

Again, sorry for the poor quality of photos.  I just can't get clear, detailed photos of my wings with my camera.

 

Marty

 

 

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#40 rustywings

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:21 AM

Russ, I meant to ask if the fronts and backs of the wings you posted pictures of in posts 20 and 21 are of the same two pilot wings.

 

Also, I just picked up another two-piece gunner wing that I thought was a little prettier than my other one, more patina and less that bright silver.  The newer wing (to me) also has an incised sterling mark to the right of the center circle instead of the raised letter one in the center of the circle.

 

Please forgive that I swapped the wings when I flipped them over.  The top wing in the top photo is the bottom wing in the bottom photo.

 

Marty

 

Hello Marty,

 

To answer your question, no, the images in posts #20 and #21 are not the same wings. 

 

I really like the two-inch Service Pilot badge you posted.  There's something uniquely personal about these jeweler-altered period pieces.

 

Thanks for posting.

 

Russ



#41 5thwingmarty

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:34 AM

To add a little more to the discussion about Bell and Walter Lampl wings, here is one I just picked up.  It is the same as Patrick's Naval Aviator wing that had the Bell hallmark, except this one has the Walter Lampl hallmark and the STERLING merk with the upside down G.

 

The Walter Lampl hallmark is much clearer than I could capture in my photo.

 

I am curious if Patrick's wing has the same "gull" shape when viewed on edge which is characteristic of the typical 2" and 3" Bell wings but not the sweetheart wings or 3" Juarez / Lampl wings.

 

Marty

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Edited by 5thwingmarty, 19 June 2014 - 09:38 AM.


#42 5thwingmarty

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:42 AM

Also in the mail today was this sweetheart Observer wing, also with the Walter Lampl hallmark.

 

Marty

 

 

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