Beverlycraft Navigator and Bombardier wings
Posted 13 September 2018 - 02:55 PM
Posted 13 September 2018 - 06:34 PM
Glider pilot is the only other one I can think of. I think there is one on ebay.
Posted 14 September 2018 - 03:29 AM
Posted 14 September 2018 - 06:23 AM
Beverlycraft also made 1-9/16" cap-sized wings, including many that were sweetheart pieces with attached rank insignias. I have not seen a small Cbserver or Fight Engineer wing from Beverlycraft, but I think I have seen a small Glider Pilot wing. They also made a small Naval Aviator wing with gold finish. I am still looking for the full size Aerial Gunner and Observer wings, and any letter wings that aren't approaching 4-digits in price.
Here is a photo of the back of my clutch back Pilot wing. The bottom tip of the shield looks like it may have had a loop attached at some point to hang a rank insignia from. I have never seen another full-size Beverlycraft wing with the palm tree surfacing on the back like this one has behind the shield.
Posted 14 September 2018 - 11:40 AM
Posted 14 September 2018 - 11:42 AM
and a variant of the bombardier wing and a picture of a young bombardier wearing a similar wing.
Edited by pfrost, 14 September 2018 - 11:45 AM.
Posted 14 September 2018 - 11:46 AM
navigator and aircrew B/C wings.
I have a B/C wing that isn't hallmarked in my collection.
I an not sure if I have ever seen a B/C gunner wing.
Posted 14 September 2018 - 11:52 AM
To cut a paste from Tod's work (but be sure to read the whole thread). Tod did some excellent work.
"It turns out that Beverly Craft was a rather quickly conceived and short lived operation. Basically C. C. Veneman, who was a constant inventor and metal crafter, was hoping for a job with a large lamp company in California. It didn't work out. He was searching for other ways to make money and decided to buy some used metal crafting equipment, namely a drop hammer press, to manufacture jewelry. The drop hammer press didn't appear. What did was a lot of used manufacturing equipment. So Mr. Veneman started a used equipment supply list that he created, printed and distributed on the west coast titled aptly "The Pacific Coast Buyers Guide."
After selling the guide, he invented and patented a small cheap postal scale. Unfortunately the scale's plastic parts kept warping so what started off as a promising venture ended up being a bust.
Around 1939-1940, with war on the horizon, the enterprising Mr. Veneman decided to get into military jewelry (what we would call sweetheart pieces). Again, he could not find a more traditional drop hammer press. He was able to put a down payment on an old fifty ton embossing press. This was not the typical machinery used. It was a constantly running up and down machine that was meant to emboss a constant feed of metal. Not to press out individual pieces. Veneman found a gambling die maker who made up a couple of bracelet patterns and alphabet series of letters. He had no money for a trim die so he had to finish the pieces by hand with a drill press and hand files. The work was dangerous because of the constant motion of the embossing press. One had to quickly insert the blank or planchet into the running machine. Also, the machine would only impress one side.
Finally Veneman made enough pieces that we has able to hire a salesman who brought back thousands of orders for the bracelets. He was also able to hire a "pegleg character...a bull-necked tough guy, who I am sure, served time, and probably lost his leg in a gun fight." He apparently was a natural at the embossing press. His record according to Veneman was 3,000 coined pieces a day. Apparently with the drop hammer press usually used by the big firms in provenance or Attleboro, they could only put out 500-600 pieces a day.
Veneman opened the Beverly Craft company office on 4th street near La Cienega in Los Angeles, just around the block from the famous restaurant row. His target was selling to PX's and military stores. He eventually expanded to men's tailors and haberdashers that specialized in military uniforms "who could outfit an entire graduation class in one fitting."
As the war started and materials became short, Veneman could no longer order brass for his bracelets. Instead he got a government contract to produce military hardware like rank, branch of service and wings. This allowed him to purchase brass and sterling silver again. His business boomed, especially since he priced his material three times as high as other big companies who could not increase prices once they became fixed by the OPA.
By 1943, "the army announced that after a certain date all insignia would have to be purchased through the central Post Exchange in New York." Veneman could no longer purchase raw metal materials unless he went to the black market. Instead, he discontinued making military insignia and closed the company.
He took his profits and purchased a lovely home in Beverly Hills off Coldwater Canyon at the top of the hill. "Our five neighbors included Ginger Rogers, John Hayes Hammond and Jascha Heifetz. Naturally I joined a country club and from about ten a.m. played gin until lunch - then golf and bridge until dinner time, when our wives would join us to complete the perfect day."
Charles Cook Veneman continued to work in metal crafts the rest of his life with his sons, designing modern furniture and lighting. He is survived by grandchildren and further generations that primarily live in Spain."
Edited by pfrost, 14 September 2018 - 11:52 AM.
Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:33 AM
Posted 18 March 2019 - 03:25 PM
Posted 18 March 2019 - 04:12 PM
Posted 18 March 2019 - 04:48 PM
Gorgeous wing Mike. A real beauty. I see that Tesla posted an impressive collection as well including my nemesis, the Beverlycraft Observer. For those who haven't heard the story, when I was a young collector and thought I knew everything I won a set of those off of ebay from someone who didn't know anything about wings (apparently neither did I). When it arrived I thought for sure it was a fake of an Amcraft pattern wing and someone even screwed up and put the pin on backwards. I wrote a long winded reply to the seller telling them that the wing was a fake and spelled out my reasoning. She gladly accepted the return and was very apologetic. About a year or so later I found out that I had returned a fairly rare wing that I think I got for like $30. The wing has haunted me ever since. Oh to be young and naive again instead of old and naive.
Posted 18 March 2019 - 06:44 PM
Congrats Tesla!!! Awesome collection!. Beverlys are hard to find and pricey when you can find em.
Posted 18 March 2019 - 06:53 PM
I thought I had finally snagged a Beverlycraft observer a couple months ago, was in a grouping offered with a reasonable buy it now price. I bought the group, but never got the wings. The seller indicated they had shipped but would never provide any tracking info and when asked refunded my money pretty quickly. I suspect someone else made the seller a higher offer after I bought the set so he chose to renege and sold them the group.
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