Jump to content


Airship Pilot wing badge die - Making a badge

Started by CliffP , Feb 05 2009 08:57 AM

  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 841 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:57 AM

http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif
.
Airship Pilot wing badge die - Making a badge:

1. 15-pound die for Airship Pilot.

2. Die marked above: THOS. HEATH, ATTLEBORO, MASS

3. Trimming Tools: After the badge has been struck in the die, it has excess flash all around the perimeter of the badge that will need to be trimmed. The badge is then laid face down in the opening, held in place by the excess flash.

The smaller part you see below the die is the cutting tool which just barely fits the opening of the die. When it comes down onto the badge, it pushes the badge through the hole and trims it.

4. The other side of the opening. You can see it is much wider so the new badge will fall free into a container with the other new badges that have been struck.

Next, the pin and locking device will be soldered to the back of the badges.

Then comes polishing and packing.

... All this comes to you from a semi-retired, totally worthless collector. :lol:
.

Attached Images

  • Die_1_a.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 05 February 2009 - 09:23 AM.


#2 Bluehawk

Bluehawk
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,976
  • 5,736 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SoCal

Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:02 AM

That^ - is fantastic technical information, and I thank you.

#3 FightenIrish35

FightenIrish35
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,581
  • 3,425 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern Pennsylvania

Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:05 AM

That^ - is fantastic technical information, and I thank you.



I agree I always wondered how they were made....thanks

#4 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 2,577 posts

Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:05 AM

I wonder if these wings were made on that die? The pattern looks the same.

Attached Images

  • airship1.jpg


#5 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 841 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:14 AM

I wonder if these wings were made on that die? The pattern looks the same.

:huh:

Not quite Patrick; however; they do come close. The shoulders are a little different and the height of the wings do vary. Also the upper and lower stabilizer for the Airship on your wing badge is smaller than those seen on the die.

Frankly, I don't think a wing badge made from this die has ever shown up in a private collection, at least not yet.

I've got metal Airship Pilot badges from *seven makers, AECo; BB&B; From Official Die; Kinney; NS Meyer, NYC; V.H. Blackinton; and Wm. Link. The one in this die would make at least eight manufacturers ...

*The new balloon book claims only six manufactures made the badge so that can't be correct.
......................................................... :unsure:

Attached Images

  • 1A.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 05 February 2009 - 11:43 AM.


#6 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 2,577 posts

Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:07 PM

Close, so very close. It looks like that was maybe die 6? Is the back of the die snowflaked pattern?

It also hard to tell with one being the mirror image of the other, maybe some little details are lost. But they are sure close.

What about this fellow, do you recognize him? I have always thought his wing was likely of the Blackinton type rather than the NS Meyer type.

Attached Images

  • post_1519_1225584090.jpg

Edited by pfrost, 05 February 2009 - 12:09 PM.


#7 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 841 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2009 - 03:41 PM

What about this fellow, do you recognize him?
I have always thought his wing was likely of the Blackinton type rather than the NS Meyer type.

Wish I could help you identify that officer Patrick but I've no idea who he might be. One thing for certain, he is not wearing a Blackinton badge.

There are three things that really help set apart a Blackinton Airship Pilot badge from one by NS Meyer.

1. Notice that running along the top of the right wing there are two horizontal creases which run evenly together all the way out to the very end. Unlike a NSM badge, on a Blackinton badge they do not come to a point at the end.

2. The body or envelope of the airship on a Blackinton has very precise and perfectly etched horizontal creases or panel lines running from the front of the envelope all the way to the rear.

3. There is no vertical/horizontal rear stabilizer atop the airship on a Blackinton badge.

Attached Images

  • presleyseniorBlackinton_1.jpg


#8 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 2,577 posts

Posted 05 February 2009 - 03:57 PM

Must be a fake then http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Just kidding. Sorry for hijacking your thread. We had an earlier thread where I posted some nice photos of a group of Airship pilots. In one of the photos you can see at least 2 types of metal wings and one bullion badge. I have IDs on about 1/2 of the pilots, but not on this gentleman.

http://www.usmilitar...l=airship wings

Here is another close up of that wing.

Thanks for the insight and knowledge. This is pure gold... pure wing collecting GOLD!

Patrick

PS As for the exact maker of the wing, I kind of broadly link them into types (in my mind). The NS Meyer types, the Blackinton (and BB&B) types, and then the more finely feathered types (AKA snowflakers) like the one that started the thread.

As I understand it, likely their were 5 or 6 makers of these type of wings:
Meyer, Blackinton, BB&B, Link (not so sure about that, but that is what Ron Burke and a couple of others calls the snowflake pattern wing), Pasaquale (??), Kenney, and likely a few others that I have forgotten. Then, someone had told me that they thought JR Gaunt or another British firm made a few badges as well.

Attached Images

  • post_1519_1225584235.jpg

Edited by pfrost, 05 February 2009 - 04:04 PM.


#9 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 841 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:08 PM

As I understand it, likely their were 5 or 6 makers of these type of wings:
Meyer, Blackinton, BB&B, Link (not so sure about that, but that is what Ron Burke and a couple of others calls the snowflake pattern wing), Pasaquale (??), Kenney, and likely a few others that I have forgotten. Then, someone had told me that they thought JR Gaunt or another British firm made a few badges as well.

Patrick,
I can't speak for the snowflake patterns; however, there were definately 8 makers of sterling silver Airship Pilot wing badges:

1. AECo
2. BB&B
3. From Official Die
4. Kinney
5. NS Meyer NYC
6. V.H. Blackinton
7. Wm. Link.
8. Also, the unknown wing badge manufacturer who made the die in post #1 of this thread. There is a little history behind this unknown die. It was found among several military dies at a company called Karat Gold in New York, NY. When found an older employee said it came from a company KG had bought out ... but the trail ran cold from there.

J. R. Gaunt never made an Airship Pilot wing badge, and understandable why they did not. The most logical reason is because no U.S. Army airships ever left the shores of these United States. Also, the Airship Pilot rating was abolished in February 1940. On the other hand, Senior Balloon Pilot with star, Balloon Pilot, and Balloon Observer wing badges were made in England all during World War Two. During the war a number of veteran light-than-air pilots and observers did go overseas and brought these badges back. I have two and one is a biographical Senior Balloon Pilot badge made by Firmin London brought back by Lt. Colonel Roland H. Short.

Pasquale, SF did not make wing badges of any type. What wing badges they did offer for sale were made by Blackinton and they came with a "Pasquale, SF" backmark. Frankly, I don't think the Pasquale Uniform Company ever sold one Airship Pilot wing badge. Why? There were no U.S. Army Airship facilities or pilots based anywhere near San Francisco between the wars so why would firm go to the extra expense of caring any Airship Pilot wing badges in their inventory when chances were so high that they would never sell any? It all seems so very logical when you think about it because not one collector has ever seen an Airship Pilot wing badge with a "Pasquale, SF" backmark on it; therefore, The idea is a myth. What really happened was when the first batch of fake "Pasquale" backmarked wing badges hit the marketplace a lot of collectors were duped into believing they were real ... and now everybody believes Pasquale really did offer Airship Pilot badges.
:unsure:
Room for thought: Have you ever see a "Pasquale" backmarked Balloon Pilot or Balloon Observer wing badge? The answer is no, yet they were not declared obsolute in February 1940 like the Airship Pilot badge was. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

#10 John Cooper

John Cooper
  • Members
    • Member ID: 227
  • 3,052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:23 PM

Posted Image

What types of wings would the Navy pilots based at Moffett Field worn in the 30's?

John

Edited by John Cooper, 05 February 2009 - 06:24 PM.


#11 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 2,577 posts

Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:28 PM

Howdy Cliff,

I recall the question about the Pasquale (actually, I think it was hallmarked Pasquali &Co) wing that I had frankly always assumed was simply an attempt to fake up the NS Meyer restrikes of the airship wing.

As I said, I have heard that the snowflake backed wing (like the one I have, and similar ones are shown in the Pinks and Green book) were made by Link. I have also seen a few airship wings with some sort of asymmetrical "divot" in the back. I never liked them, but I know a couple of advanced collectors who swear up and down they are good. These don't seem to fit in the list you provided.

Finally, this is a true story. A collector out here on the West Coast who was well known for picking up fantastic grouping (he recently died) once invited me to his house and showed me around. He had some truly spectacular stuff, and was a very serious collector. But he had a grouping of a father (airship pilot) and his son (an 8th AAF pilot) that was given to him by the son. It had the medals, wings, pictures, insignia, the whole shebang. In the grouping was the airship wing. I was looking at it, and I said, "Pete, this thing looks fake as hell!" (I cant believe how rude I was, but the wing was a POS, IMHO). Pete smiled and pulled out a vintage dated photo...of the pilot wearing the same wing. It had a small flaw in the front and you could see clearly that they were one and the same wing. Then, he pulled out a box where the wing clearly came from (you could clearly see the impression of the wing in the paper). THEN, he pulled out a receipt for the wing from the company on the box. THEN he pulled out a letter from the so, saying that he was giving Pete all this stuff of his dads (that listed all the items). I learned a very valuable lesson that day!

#12 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 2,577 posts

Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:30 PM

Posted Image

What types of wings would the Navy pilots based at Moffett Field worn in the 30's?

John


I am almost 100% sure they would wear full size USN Navy pilot wings. Basically, anyone in the Navy who piloted a aircraft under its own power (be it plane or airship) wore the USN standard gold pilot wings (NOT the 1/2 wings).

#13 John Cooper

John Cooper
  • Members
    • Member ID: 227
  • 3,052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:46 PM

Thanks Patrick... since this is the largest Airship hanger l know of that is in the S.F. Bay Area. With this in mind I am sure Pasquale made at least some Navy wings. I was hopeful someone would have some to share... bullion that is since Pasquale did make lots of bullion insignia.

John

Edited by John Cooper, 05 February 2009 - 07:01 PM.


#14 John Cooper

John Cooper
  • Members
    • Member ID: 227
  • 3,052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:55 PM

I've got metal Airship Pilot badges from *seven makers, AECo; BB&B; From Official Die; Kinney; NS Meyer, NYC; V.H. Blackinton; and Wm. Link. The one in this die would make at least eight manufacturers ...


Maybe you can share a photo comparision with us so we can see the pattern differences...?

Let there be light! :D

John

#15 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 841 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:55 PM

Maybe you can share a photo comparision with us so we can see the pattern differences...?

Let there be light! :D

John


John, as you already know from past experience, and Bob Schwartz will concur, my camera does not make very good close-up pictures but since Will lives nearby and has an excellent camera we'll get together soon. Until then this will have to do for now.

http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/pinch.gif

Attached Images

  • group_for_Forum.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 05 February 2009 - 08:05 PM.


#16 teufelhunde.ret

teufelhunde.ret

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 376
  • 15,219 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:EGA Headquarters

Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:17 AM

Great thread folks - esp the info on Pasquale / Blackinton hallmarks http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/twothumbup.gif

#17 John Cooper

John Cooper
  • Members
    • Member ID: 227
  • 3,052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:39 PM

Cliff you will have to get a nice point and shoot Cannon which has a decent macro feature to take some good shots. I am looking forward to the photos from Will.

John

#18 USAFnav

USAFnav
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,467
  • 833 posts

Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:38 AM

CliffP,
Thanks very much for the photos of the dies. I like to learn how all the insignia were made.
Pete B.

#19 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 841 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 February 2009 - 06:30 AM

.
Pete,

You are more than welcome and thank you. It's always good to know if something
is appreciated. Here is another old die from the 1920's which may look familar to
a few viewers. ;)

Cliff

Attached Images

  • die2.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 07 February 2009 - 06:54 AM.


#20 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 841 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 February 2009 - 11:33 AM

.
The following is only meant for the benefit of hardcore USAAC Airship Pilot wing badge collectors! :lol:

*When the Airship Pilot wing badge was first introduced in October 1921 the airship image seen on it was actually patterned after the U.S. Army RN-1. It began life in 1919 as the French built Navy Zodiac ZDUZ-1 and was acquired by the Army that same year. It was extensively modified with a new envelope in 1923 built by Airships Inc. with stronger and lighter tail surfaces buit by Wittemann-Lewis Aircraft Co. It is seen here at Scott Field, IL in the early 1920's.

*If anyone is getting tired of what may be useless trivia please speak now or forever hold your peace ... :unsure:

Attached Images

  • Army_RN_1_Airship.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 07 February 2009 - 11:52 AM.



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)