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BEAST

ANGLE OF PINS ON WINGS

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OK, one of the identifying traits of a reproduced or post-WWII wing is the opening angle of the wings. It is my understanding that the pin had a stop in it and would not open the full 180 degrees.

 

However, after looking at other period insignia, civilian and military, I notice that they do not have that stop. They will open the full 180 degrees. Why did the manufacturers only limit the opening of the pin on the wings? Also why did they limit the angle?


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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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Beast,

 

Like a lot of "Rules" when it comes to wing collecting, this one is not as hard and fast as it would seem.

 

Early on, oh say from 1850 to about 1945 (the beginning of the Industrial Age to about the end of WW2), one of the hall-marks of quality jewelry were the "findings." Findings are the parts of Jewelry that are not part of the design. On a bracelet or necklace the clasp and hoop are the findings. On a broach; the clasp, pin, and hinge.

 

Because it generally took as much work to make findings as the jewelry itself, manufacturing jewelers (like Bailey Banks and Biddle, or Robbins) sold pre-manufactured findings to jewelers around the country.

 

I order to showcase the quality of a jeweler's art, they would put the very best findings available on their locally made product. Thick pins (which didn't break easily), pins that only opened 90 or so degrees (which were easier to pin on), heavy clasps (easier to use) became the norm for "quality" jewelry, and consumers came to expect these touches.

 

Essentially, prior to WW2, only a few firms could manufacture jewelry on a large scale. Competition was keen, and individual jewelers tried their best to differentiate their product from their competitor's. The war-time expansion of the industrial base during WW2, and its excess increased capacity after the war, ushered in the age of cheap, mass production where price became more important than quality. In the case of mass-produced jewelry, what did it matter if the pin broke easily? When supply was great enough and the cost low enough, if the pin broke, then simply buy a new one. Our great grand parents would amazed by this line of thinking. Manufacturers could no longer afford to spend the extra money on better quality findings, and mass produced findings became the norm. Eventually, the findings only had to balance acceptability versus cost. In other words, they had to be as cheap as possible, yet still be good enough for their intended purpose.

 

Prior to WW2, and to a certain extent during, the military insignia was still thought of as a type of jewelry and the quality exhibited in the manufacturing processes showed that.

 

Chris

 

OK, one of the identifying traits of a reproduced or post-WWII wing is the opening angle of the wings. It is my understanding that the pin had a stop in it and would not open the full 180 degrees.

 

However, after looking at other period insignia, civilian and military, I notice that they do not have that stop. They will open the full 180 degrees. Why did the manufacturers only limit the opening of the pin on the wings? Also why did they limit the angle?


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It seems that a bit of confusion exists. To my knowledge, the only real diagnostic point of the pin opening to 180 degrees was it was a way to tell the NS Meyer restrikes from the original wings. I honestly do not think that this is a general rule that can be applied to ALL wings. For example, I have many wings in my collection that have a pin that opens up 180 degrees, and just as many that dont. I have a WWI observer half wing and a Robbins pattern WWI pilot wing that have full opening pins (180 degrees) and nice drop in catches and a "Shreve-like" pilot wing that has a 80 degree pin and a similar drop in catch.

 

I did a quick survey of my post WWI collection and my Luxenbergs, NS Meyers, AMICO. LGB and Beverly Crafts all have the 80 degree pin, but my Amcrafts (both pre and WWII period patterns), Gemscos, Juarez, AE CO and Bell patterns all have the 180 degree pins. I have a nice 20's balloon wing and a snowflake backed airship wing that has the 180 degree pin. On the other hand, I have a couple of very early Robbins wings from the 1920's-30's that open up only 80 degrees or so.

 

I have also noticed that sometimes people will dismiss a wing because of the 180 degree pin. I think that it is pretty safe to make that assumption IF you are talking about a NS Meyer wing, but not for other wings.

 

One thing that I think few collectors really do is learn the types of pins and hinges and catches that companies tended to use. For example, did you know that Beverly Craft usually put its attachements on backwards, with the catch and hinge reversed from the normal placement of other wings? Also, Juarez and Bell wings tend to have the same kind of weak brass pin. Tiffiany used a very unique catch on its wings that had a small little hinge that secured the pin. Once you have seen a real Tiffany wing, you can recognize others in an instant based on that catch.

 

This is almost like the old theory that clutch back wings were only made post war. In many ways, I was sorry to see that theory go die its rightful death, as I got many good deals from people who thought they were selling a post war wing.

 

Patrick

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Chris & Patrick,

 

Great posts... I am loving all the wing talk going on currently!

 

Psssst do not give out too many secrets... lol


Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the info folks! This is a great discussion and helping to clear up misconceptions. Please keep posting your thoughts and theories!

 

 

BTW, Would anyone be interested in starting a reference string showing examples of the pins and clasps of wings with the manufacturers? I.E. show which pin and clasp is proper for a Juarez, Meyer, known fakes, etc.


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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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One thing that I think few collectors really do is learn the types of pins and hinges and catches that companies tended to use. For example, did you know that Beverly Craft usually put its attachements on backwards, with the catch and hinge reversed from the normal placement of other wings? Also, Juarez and Bell wings tend to have the same kind of weak brass pin. Tiffiany used a very unique catch on its wings that had a small little hinge that secured the pin. Once you have seen a real Tiffany wing, you can recognize others in an instant based on that catch.

Patrick

Great points Patrick. I’m advocating this type of approach to all sections of collecting, not only to “wings”. If you are collecting badges with hinges and catches, you should focus on recognizing hardware used by manufacturers. This is the easiest way to detect fakes. With modern technology it is easy to make almost perfect copies of badges, but hardware is impossible to fake because it contains too many elements…

Patrick I think it would be a great help if you could post some pictures to better illustrate your points... thumbsup.gif


Best regards

Robert

 

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On WWII MADE Wings > the Pin "stop" at 60* to 90* is normal, & the best way to confirm WWII made; even "Meyer" had the pin stop built in then, but the current made Meyer reproductions do not have the stop. The post WWII "N. S. Meyer" trademarked wings are being made from the original molds; so the Pin opening 180* is the best way to spot them.

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OK, one of the identifying traits of a reproduced or post-WWII wing is the opening angle of the wings. It is my understanding that the pin had a stop in it and would not open the full 180 degrees.

 

However, after looking at other period insignia, civilian and military, I notice that they do not have that stop. They will open the full 180 degrees. Why did the manufacturers only limit the opening of the pin on the wings? Also why did they limit the angle?

 

 

I don't buy it. While I do think the 60 or 90 degree arc is indicative of prewar or wartime manufacture, I

don't think that 180 degree always means postwar or repro.

 

My experience is limited to collecting WW2 submarine pins. Some that are right as rain, and on the original store cards, open to 180 degrees.

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All,

 

As with many rules of thumb there are always real things that fall outside the "rules"... I think you have to look at the entire wing and then match that up to your experience and other examples from the same maker.

 

I think what is making this specific thread a bit muddy is the large number of re-strikes...

 

Just my two cents...

 

Cheers

John


Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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It seems that a bit of confusion exists. To my knowledge, the only real diagnostic point of the pin opening to 180 degrees was it was a way to tell the NS Meyer restrikes from the original wings. I honestly do not think that this is a general rule that can be applied to ALL wings. For example, I have many wings in my collection that have a pin that opens up 180 degrees, and just as many that dont. I have a WWI observer half wing and a Robbins pattern WWI pilot wing that have full opening pins (180 degrees) and nice drop in catches and a "Shreve-like" pilot wing that has a 80 degree pin and a similar drop in catch.

 

I did a quick survey of my post WWI collection and my Luxenbergs, NS Meyers, AMICO. LGB and Beverly Crafts all have the 80 degree pin, but my Amcrafts (both pre and WWII period patterns), Gemscos, Juarez, AE CO and Bell patterns all have the 180 degree pins. I have a nice 20's balloon wing and a snowflake backed airship wing that has the 180 degree pin. On the other hand, I have a couple of very early Robbins wings from the 1920's-30's that open up only 80 degrees or so.

 

I have also noticed that sometimes people will dismiss a wing because of the 180 degree pin. I think that it is pretty safe to make that assumption IF you are talking about a NS Meyer wing, but not for other wings.

 

One thing that I think few collectors really do is learn the types of pins and hinges and catches that companies tended to use. For example, did you know that Beverly Craft usually put its attachements on backwards, with the catch and hinge reversed from the normal placement of other wings? Also, Juarez and Bell wings tend to have the same kind of weak brass pin. Tiffiany used a very unique catch on its wings that had a small little hinge that secured the pin. Once you have seen a real Tiffany wing, you can recognize others in an instant based on that catch.

 

This is almost like the old theory that clutch back wings were only made post war. In many ways, I was sorry to see that theory go die its rightful death, as I got many good deals from people who thought they were selling a post war wing.

 

Patrick

 

 

I agree 101%


"I think, therefore I am" - René Descartes

 

 

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