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Badge Collection Military Government Police Fire


mds308
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On 3/11/2023 at 4:26 PM, Cobra 6 Actual said:

Thanks to a Forum member I just got this bullion badge:

 

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Super nice!

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Cobra 6 Actual

This badge perfectly illustrates why many departments went from soldered on numbers to engraved ones:

 

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The soldered on numbers had an unfortunate tendency to come off, then needed to be re-soldered, ad infinitum.

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Cobra 6 Actual

Press, media, and fire lines badges all grant some type of access at the scene of incidents. This one is an early Washington DC badge:

 

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Cobra 6 Actual

Thank you, jmd62. Here’s another California one:

 

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This organization was founded in 1935. As the Country entered WWII it died out.

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It would be interesting to see the backs of the badges as well.  The fastening type, and hallmarks are VERY telling as to date, age, and sometimes give additional clues.  It is also a good way to verify the age, or at least the time bracket, so you can be more certain a badge is not a reproduction.  Love the photos!

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Cobra 6 Actual

Thanks, Sharky. You’re “right on the money” about the importance of what is on the badge backs. But, that’s why I’m not posting them. (Note that I posted the badge back earlier when you asked about the Golden Gate badge’s back, but the more I thought about it the more I decided not to post the backs on this thread.)

 

I think we collectors are aware that fakers could use such information to further their efforts to produce more “authentic” fakes. So we walk a fine line between being informative and at the same time being circumspect.

 

However, to be helpful, if you ever want to see the back of a badge for your own information please just message me and I’ll send you that pic.

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Thanks for your insights on the "badge backs"!  My father was a California State Park Ranger, starting in the 1960's.  I have all of his original badges through the years.  His first badges were the old "Division of Beaches and Parks" style, before they were law enforcement officers, in addition to rangers.  I mention this because the German company Gode, is producing a replica badge that is as good, and as perfect, as the originals, with the exception of the back side.  Wrong finish, stampings and pin, on the back.  If you just saw the front, it would be a $500 or more badge!  Here is a link to their current reproduced badge.  Perfect to fill a slot in a collection, as the originals are RARE!  The photos are of the Gode reproduction.  I suspect that Gode buys original badges and then duplicates them.............

 

https://www.collectors-badges.com/product/california-division-of-beaches-parks-police-701-gode/

 

 

 

 

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Cobra 6 Actual

Thanks, Sharkey. I’m familiar with Gode. As you illustrated the reverse of their badges are clearly marked with their hallmarks. Yet, many people don’t know that they are reproductions. The site you posted does include that information though. I see Gode badges being sold on eBay all the time for stratospheric prices as originals. 
 

However, I would note that Gode badges often have a “tell” on the front of the badge, usually because they have used soft enamel on part of the badge rather than cloisonné. Here’s an authentic badge:

 

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Notice how the outer ring with “Division of Beaches and Parks” is cloisonné, unlike the Gode.

 

Here’s one style your father may have worn:

 

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Marshal Badge to Landis L. Pratt - Pratt was a USAF Retired T/Sgt who was a Gunner on B-17's with the 8th AF in WWII and after the war served as a Gunner/Engineer on B-36's until he retired in 1966 and then entered the Law Enforcement field. He was awarded the DFC and 2 Air Medals for his WWII Service.

 

Bill

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Here are a few shots of the California State Park badges from my father's time as a ranger, and a California Agriculture Quarantine Officer badge that belonged to my Great Grandfather.  The Agriculture badge belonged to his brother first, and then passed to him when he went into the service.  They first worked on the California side of Yuma, AZ.  I believe this is one of the first issued badges., 1920's.

 

The early State Park Badges start with Dept. of Natural Resources, then they changed to Dept. of Parks and Recreation.  The star badges were just before they became law enforcement officers.  After they became "law enforcement officers", the badges had "Peace Officer" on them.  I don't have his final Peace Officer Badge.

 

Here is a link to a .pdf book that has all the California State Agency badges and insignia (60 pages, and free to download).  http://www.cspra.com/ParkBooks/download/insignia.pdf

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Cobra 6 Actual

Thanks for posting those badges, Sharky! Great badges and equally great family history. I have that book already, but thank you for the link as others may be interested. 
 

As I’m sure you know, California has now placed Park Rangers, Fish and Game Wardens, and Forestry Firefighters under the “Resources Agency”:

 

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Cobra 6 Actual

This rather plain-looking badge would be highly-collectible for several reasons: it’s a Marine badge, it’s a Pearl Harbor badge, and it’s a WWII badge:

 

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I responded to a 10 July, 2021 post here by Cobra 6 Actual of a restrike of a U.S. Dept. of State Special Agents' Division original 1917 badge design on May 11, 2022, with a couple minor additions subsequently. The US Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) has informed me that their better-quality images of badge #1 are within the public domain and they have kindly provided photos of the obverse and reverse of this badge. I was requested to watermark the images.

 

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Above is a good high resolution image of the obverse of the original 1917-design US Department of State Special Agents’ Division badge #1 that would have been issued either to the first Chief Special Agent Joseph M. “Bill” Nye or the second Chief Special Agent Robert C. Bannerman, or possible passed from Nye to Bannerman in 1920. This photo, and that below of the reverse, can be zoomed for additional details. This badge is currently being “refurbished” (probably cleaned and encased in lucite) for the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service and will eventually be displayed in the planned lobby space of the intended upcoming renovations to DSS headquarters (the National Museum of American Diplomacy, in Washington, D.C.: https://diplomacy.state.gov).  

 

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Reverse of badge #1, showing the inscription borne only by the two known original US Department. Of State Special Agent’s Division badges. All restrikes lack this inscription. The only inscription I have seen on a restrike is on the restrike badge that Cobra 6 Actual posted on 10 July, 2022 (he sent me photos of the reverse showing the markings on it). That restrike is marked “V.H.B. STERL”, for V. H. Blackinton & Co., Inc. of Attleboro, MA., who made some of the restrikes, and indicates it is made of sterling silver, unlike the original badges that as I have noted were nickel or nickel-plated. Most restrikes were apparently encased in lucite with a blue base that obscures the reverse inscription. As far as anyone in either the collecting community or the U.S. Department of State knows, only badge #1 and badge #12 are still extant. No other examples of any of these badges have come to light. 

 

I also am happy to illustrate here, again, the only other known surviving example of this Special Agent’s badge, #12, that probably came out of the New York office of Bill Nye’s original staff of agents. I included illustrations of badge #12 in my 11 May, 2022 post here, but wanted to add the image of this rare badge again with this better quality picture of badge #1. 

 

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Obverse of badge #12.

 

 

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Reverse of badge #12. I am still researching whether it is possible find documentation of who was issued badge #12, probably among the first Special Agents in the New York Office. 

 

 

 

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Cobra 6 Actual

Thanks for that interesting information, Rusty. Shifting direction to transportation for a moment, here’s an American Airlines “Special Police” badge:

 

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In the era before Federal Air Marshals, several airlines provided their own security. This badge is not hallmarked but was made by F.G. Clover of New York, c. 1950’s.

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