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Vintage Flight Instructor's cuff wing...or not?


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#26 pfrost

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 01:23 PM

I still really like Russ' wing and still think it could be an instructor wing.  I see no sense in letting "facts" get in the way of a good hypothesis.


Edited by pfrost, 01 January 2014 - 01:24 PM.


#27 ponyradish

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:30 PM

Yes Rustywings, That is the exact same pair that I have. Pretty, but not military. Pony.



#28 rustywings

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:03 AM

post-7548-0-44653800-1388545118.jpg

 

I had the opportunity today to closely examine a wonderful collection of WWI wings and learned there was in fact a full-size Pilot badge produced in 1918-1919 that is nearly identical to the feather pattern depicted in Joe's reproduction wing illustrated above and my smaller wing. 

 

Apparently another company was producing this down-swept wing pattern long before the Eastern Findings Company opened for business at the end of WWII.  Joe, any information on this earlier company?

 

Russ       



#29 CliffP

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 08:26 AM

post-7548-0-44653800-1388545118.jpg

 

I had the opportunity today to closely examine a wonderful collection of WWI wings and learned there was in fact a full-size Pilot badge produced in 1918-1919 that is nearly identical to the feather pattern depicted in Joe's reproduction wing illustrated above and my smaller wing. 

 

Apparently another company was producing this down-swept wing pattern long before the Eastern Findings Company opened for business at the end of WWII.  Joe, any information on this earlier company?

 

Russ       

 

Hi Russ,

 

Is there any chance you took front & rear photos of the badge that is near identical to the one produced by Eastern Findings and can you post them on the forum?

 

Oh, and has JW been forgiven for his previous indiscretions and thus reinstated as a forum member in good standing?  If yes, what new id does he currently use?

 

Kind regards,

Cliff
 



#30 CliffP

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:30 PM

 

Hi Russ,

 

Is there any chance you took front & rear photos of the badge that is near identical to the one produced by Eastern Findings and can you post them on the forum?

 

Oh, and has JW been forgiven for his previous indiscretions and thus reinstated as a forum member in good standing?  If yes, and I'm not violating any Forum rules by asking, what new id is he currently use?

 

Kind regards,

Cliff
 

 

Russ,

 

Going through some old photos taken over 30 years ago, I came across the one posted below of a badge that was once in the collection owned by Harry Hamburg.  Does it look like the same one you saw yesterday?

 

Cliff

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  • BRN 00 80.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 05 January 2014 - 12:33 PM.


#31 rustywings

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:36 PM

Hello Cliff,

 

Yes, that's the same style and pattern wing I saw yesterday!  Your knowledge and access to resources regarding this hobby is amazing. Thank you for your efforts.  I wasn't in a position to take pictures of the badge, so your posting certainly helps with the discussion. 

 

Regarding your other question, it is the position of the Forum's Administration to not provide status checks or updates on a pending investigations until their investigation is complete. I appreciate your efforts in keeping the Forum a friendly place. 

 

Russ      



#32 pfrost

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:39 PM

It is too bad that an interesting thead had to be diverted in such a manner, but considering the source. :blush:

 

Yes, Cliff, that is the wing that Russ is talking about (I also had a chance to look at the same work of art that Russ referred to earlier) and JoeW's graceless and mundane reproduction is almost comic compared to the real thing.  Frankly,  I think all woudl agree that this piece would be the jewel in any wing collection, but the collector who has it can pull out more than a few equally beautiful wings from his stunning collection.

 

But lets put JoeW's sad little reporduction back where it belongs (behind us--you can always go to ebay and find much of his work there if you are so inclined) and get back to the wing in question, Russ's interesting flight instructor wing.  I think that Russ is clearly correct, the Eastern Findings Company was not the first (or only) to use this design.  In fact, I suspect that this design was popular and available for a very long time, and wouldn't be that shocked if similar examples of this type of winged broach (in various sizes and metals) didn't go back well into the Victorian age.

 

Second, haveing seen Russ's wing in person, it seems like it very well could be something that would have been worn on a military uniform.  While beautifully made, it also has a feel of sturdy workmanship, and not of decorative women's jewelry, IMHO.

 

Which brings me to something esle, the cross over between WWI vintage US Army wings and the jewelry companies that seemed to have made many of the badges worn by Army pilots.  The badge posted by Cliff is a case in point.  That particular wing is delicate and one could see it being worn by a lady on her lapel just as much as a pilot on his breast.  To me, it is funny that of all the military uniform regulations, the US Army pilot from abut 1917 to 1919 seemed to have had the most leeway and least strict adherance to uniform regulations when it came to pilot badges.  Seriously, if you look at a portrait of 10 US Army pilots from 1918, you will find a dozen different wing patterns :lol:, even if they are all in the same squadron.  The Naval aviators of the time didn't have that leeway, even pilots of the other combantant countries (on both sides) followed their regulations more closely than the Army pilots.  And, no way you can tell me that the US Army was any less uniform and regulated than the US Navy!  But for some reason, for a few years during WWI, Army pilots seemed to be able to wear what ever they wanted on their uniform.  Because so many jewelers seemed to have made wings, its not hard to see that something that may have been originally made for a woman, could have been incorporated into a man's military insignia.  That is why I think that despite its similarity to a women's broach, Russ's badge could also be a military flight instructor insignia.

 

Patrick


Edited by pfrost, 05 January 2014 - 01:47 PM.


#33 pfrost

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 02:18 PM

Here is an example of how the flight instructor wing was worn on the cuff.  In this case, on the WRONG cuff (regulations said it was to be the right sleeve, but this guy has his on the left sleeve).

 

Not as nicea as the ones that Russ and Cliff presented, but still, this is what they wore.  What is interesting is that the overseas stripes seem to match the bullion instructor patch.

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  • flight instructor.jpg


#34 CliffP

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 06:23 PM


Second, haveing seen Russ's wing in person, it seems like it very well could be something that would have been worn on a military uniform.  While beautifully made, it also has a feel of sturdy workmanship, and not of decorative women's jewelry, IMHO.

:unsure:
Perhaps, but doubtful for two good reasons.

 

(1)  Military flight instructor insignia should have been embroidered and sewn to the cuff or lower sleeve of a uniform; however, if one was made of metal and pinned to the cuff that would definately lead to serious complications such as being very prone to getting snagged while in use and/or ripped off.

 

(2)  It's reasonable to say that 98% of the metal wings worn by military officers (or most emblems made for male civilians) would have the pin and locking device attached at the opposing ends to those found on the 2 1/4" wide broach posted by Russ.  In other words, the location were both its pin and locking device have been soldered are by tradition found on jewelry made exclusively for women.

 

Cliff

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  • Russ Wilson's badge altered - Copy.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 05 January 2014 - 06:41 PM.


#35 rustywings

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:14 PM

Thank you Patrick and Cliff for your well expressed insight.

 

I agree any application of the Flight Instructor badge to the uniform cuff not sewn in place would certainly create "snag" issues for the wearer sooner or later.  However, a few Pilots did alter bullion on cloth insignia into clutch-back variations.  Here's a couple of examples: 

 

 

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  • IMG_4752_crop.jpg


#36 rustywings

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:17 PM

The tan cloth cuff wing is sewn around a metal plate with two clutch-posts.

 

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#37 rustywings

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:26 PM

This second example is really well made. Very similar to Cliff's badge illustrated above in Post #23, this bullion on cloth badge has a metal plate inside; sewn leather backing; and three clutch-posts protruding out the back to keep it in place on the Instructor's cuff.

 

 

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#38 rustywings

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:28 PM

The back:

 

 

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#39 rustywings

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:31 PM

Three clutch-posts exposed.

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#40 Forum Manager

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 05:24 PM

It has been brought to our attention that  a member that has been posting on this thread is a member that we had banned from the USMF awhile back.

I hope this is not the case, but if it is, and we get solid proof, they will be banned again and their IP address blocked.



#41 Forum Manager

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:58 AM

There have been a lot of accusations on this thread about a former banned member being back on, give me proof that it is the same person and they are gone.



#42 Forum Manager

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:51 AM

Come on guys, give me some proof.




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