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"StayBrite" or "Never Dull" EGA's


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#1 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:51 AM

Quote from GARY on EGA post of 5.14.07

ďAs for the shiny finishes? I imagine we all have in our collections those StayBrite or "Never Dull" M1937 EM dress emblems from the WWII period that have never been polished and never will be and they're still as shiny as the day they were made and that was 60+ years ago, so what we need to find out is if manufacturers had the technique to make emblems with these finishes from 1920 on? ď

Gary, the answer may lay in the screw post keeper that just arrived on the Officers 1926 Meyer "fire Bronze". I am not familiar with that name on these keepers, however, if these are original to the emblem (will post emblem photo's later), these were likely made in 1927/8... here may be the answer to the question? Regards;

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#2 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:25 AM

The same roller in use on a 1926 officer's collar emblem...

Anyone with information of this company or the Staybright & Never Dull finish on emblems or keeper's?

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#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:57 AM

There is a Staybrite lacquer spray for brass and being a lacquer product it could have been around fro a long time but I can't find anything on that. However, the Ira Green Company which makes "Sta-Brite" militray insignia has been around since 1943.

The lacquer spray is described as "Keeps brass at its shiniest. Unlike conventional lacquers, Staybrite actually reacts chemically with the metal surface creating a tough, permanent seal against tarnish. "

There is an process for making non-tarnishing brass that appears to have been around for quite a while. One company describes the process as "Non-tarnishing brass is a finish which looks like brass plating but will give superior performance. We create this finish with a deposit of gold which has been alloyed to achieve the color of brass."

Another company calls their process for doing this "Lumin": "Waterworks exclusive finish of non tarnishing brass. This is an alloy of gold and nickel, electroplated over a nickel base which has been applied to a solid brass product."

I think the older pieces, even pre-WWII, could indeed have been electroplated brass, unlike the "Sta-Brite" insignia, which, I have read, may be anodized aluminum electroplated with a gold alloy.

I don't think the lacquer based "Staybrite" is on older insignia. We've probably all seen older lacquer coated brass lamps, etc. where the lacquer has worn off in places and it starts to look very unattractive.

#4 GLM *Deceased*

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 04:19 PM

There is a Staybrite lacquer spray for brass and being a lacquer product it could have been around fro a long time but I can't find anything on that. However, the Ira Green Company which makes "Sta-Brite" militray insignia has been around since 1943.

The lacquer spray is described as "Keeps brass at its shiniest. Unlike conventional lacquers, Staybrite actually reacts chemically with the metal surface creating a tough, permanent seal against tarnish. "

There is an process for making non-tarnishing brass that appears to have been around for quite a while. One company describes the process as "Non-tarnishing brass is a finish which looks like brass plating but will give superior performance. We create this finish with a deposit of gold which has been alloyed to achieve the color of brass."

Another company calls their process for doing this "Lumin": "Waterworks exclusive finish of non tarnishing brass. This is an alloy of gold and nickel, electroplated over a nickel base which has been applied to a solid brass product."

I think the older pieces, even pre-WWII, could indeed have been electroplated brass, unlike the "Sta-Brite" insignia, which, I have read, may be anodized aluminum electroplated with a gold alloy.

I don't think the lacquer based "Staybrite" is on older insignia. We've probably all seen older lacquer coated brass lamps, etc. where the lacquer has worn off in places and it starts to look very unattractive.


Here is a cover and collar set made by NS Meyer. The finish is definitely "Stay Bright" or "Never Dull" and I've often wondered what process in manufacturer was used to result in never having to polish these. Is it possible that they could have been treated with a lacquer finish? There doesn't appear to be any evidence of lacquer, but what does one look for? Because of the hallmarks and finish, I'm fairly certain that this set was one of the last produced prior to the emblem design changeover in 1962, but because the cover emblem is stamped sterling, why no dulling to the finish? I have much later M1962 officer dress emblems that are marked sterling and DO tarnish with the best of the much earlier emblems. The matching collar emblems aren't marked sterling, but have the same "washed on" gold appearance. I'm not familiar with electroplating, so is it possible for this process as an option to the finishes?
Gary

Cover Emblem

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#5 GLM *Deceased*

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 04:20 PM

And the matching collar set

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#6 Bob Hudson

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 06:08 PM

Here is a cover and collar set made by NS Meyer. The finish is definitely "Stay Bright" or "Never Dull" and I've often wondered what process in manufacturer was used to result in never having to polish these. Is it possible that they could have been treated with a lacquer finish? ....The matching collar emblems aren't marked sterling, but have the same "washed on" gold appearance. I'm not familiar with electroplating, so is it possible for this process as an option to the finishes?
Gary


The more I look into this the more I'm convinced that the older stuff was indeed electroplated, which involves depositing a microscopic layer of gold alloy (gold mixed with something else to make its color closer to brass). This may explain the "ACID TEST" mark seen on Gemsco pieces. From I gather, an acid test is used to test the integrity of electroplating, particularly with gold or silver. It appears to be that if the gold plate is good enough, it will pass the "acid test" (that test may not work when the plate is a gold alloy, but that's something for plating expert to address).

"Never Dull" is actually cleaner/polish applied after the fact: it's not something applied by the EGA makers. Same with the Staybrite lacquer spray. The Sta-Brite insignia though is a manufacturing process. These days it's all possible to coat brass with polyurethane which will have the same effect as lacquer in protecting the metal from the corrosive air.

#7 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 09:44 AM

There is a Staybrite lacquer spray for brass and being a lacquer product it could have been around fro a long time but I can't find anything on that. However, the Ira Green Company which makes "Sta-Brite" militray insignia has been around since 1943.

The lacquer spray is described as "Keeps brass at its shiniest. Unlike conventional lacquers, Staybrite actually reacts chemically with the metal surface creating a tough, permanent seal against tarnish. "

There is an process for making non-tarnishing brass that appears to have been around for quite a while. One company describes the process as "Non-tarnishing brass is a finish which looks like brass plating but will give superior performance. We create this finish with a deposit of gold which has been alloyed to achieve the color of brass."

Another company calls their process for doing this "Lumin": "Waterworks exclusive finish of non tarnishing brass. This is an alloy of gold and nickel, electroplated over a nickel base which has been applied to a solid brass product."

I think the older pieces, even pre-WWII, could indeed have been electroplated brass, unlike the "Sta-Brite" insignia, which, I have read, may be anodized aluminum electroplated with a gold alloy.

I don't think the lacquer based "Staybrite" is on older insignia. We've probably all seen older lacquer coated brass lamps, etc. where the lacquer has worn off in places and it starts to look very unattractive.


So, in following your posts, we can presume the keepers on the "fire bronze" and those included herein on this H&H of the same period are an "alloy of gold and nickel, electroplated over a nickel base which has been applied to a solid brass product."... simple because the use of gold was more prevalent for these purposes and not the precious metals item it is today? And the other "processes" likely came as an outgrowth of need and manufacturing in the 30's and on into WW2?

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#8 Bob Hudson

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:36 AM

So, in following your posts, we can presume the keepers on the "fire bronze" and those included herein on this H&H of the same period are an "alloy of gold and nickel, electroplated over a nickel base which has been applied to a solid brass product."... simple because the use of gold was more prevalent for these purposes and not the precious metals item it is today? And the other "processes" likely came as an outgrowth of need and manufacturing in the 30's and on into WW2?


That would be my educated guess. The amount of gold needed to coat something like this is very, very small, but I think the process would possible be more labor-intensive than newer processes.

I recently spoke to a guy running one of the many shops here in Oceanside that provide uniforms and uniform accessories to Marines. He noted that a set of the "stay brite" buttons for a dress blues coat costs $39 and they scratch easily so it can get expensive using those (although most Marines hardly wear the blues so that helps).

#9 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 09:45 AM

That would be my educated guess. The amount of gold needed to coat something like this is very, very small, but I think the process would possible be more labor-intensive than newer processes.

I recently spoke to a guy running one of the many shops here in Oceanside that provide uniforms and uniform accessories to Marines. He noted that a set of the "stay brite" buttons for a dress blues coat costs $39 and they scratch easily so it can get expensive using those (although most Marines hardly wear the blues so that helps).


I agreed as well. There is likely no limits to the possibilities with respect to the finish of these and like items. The practicality of using a low karat gold in a low-volume eletroplating process, seems to be the most apropraite technique and process for the period. How quickly we forgot the modest cost of low karat gold during this period. And how widely it was used in everyday purposes (and still is) for such conventional items taken for granted in our lives. Anyone out there want to get their period keepers or emblems tested... ;)


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