Badge related news and articles

Friday 13th May 2011

Fittings on Metal Badges

Archive tutorial metal badge fittings

The technical details in the archive such as the size and the fittings can be a useful tool in helping collectors date badges and even determine their manufacturer. The holy grail for badge makers would be an all in one badge which didn't require time and effort to add a fitting at the end of the manufacturing process.

We have tried our best to keep the fittings section simple to follow and hope this article will assist anyone who is not sure of our terminology. If you feel strongly that we should alter or add to the list please let us know. When using the archive you can always add details of the fittings in the description section -or simply add an image of the reverse.

'Brooch pin standard usually on metal/acrylic badges' - this is the default setting as it covers a huge array of similar fittings applied to badges for the last hundred years and more

Below is a small selection of 'brooch pin standard' These have a 'shoulder' at one end to hold the pin and a 'hook' or 'clasp' at the other end to retain the pin  They include parts that have been soldered on or a whole unit that has been applied usually with glue. The 'all in one' pin applied with glue (bottom row second left) often have a safety ring to help retain the pin./ This type of fitting is more modern and became commonplace from the 1970s onwards. The 'Coffer' fitting ( top row 3rd left) is a nasty little devil that is often broken. The fitting top row first left is a higher quality 'stile' type where the shoulder end has a quality engineered movement.

'Metal Badge Crescent Lapel Fitting'  'Metal Badge Oval Lapel Fitting' 'Metal Badge Circular Lapel Fitting'

Lapel fittings generally appear on older badges -made in the days when men wore jackets with a lapel hole. This type of fitting slowly disappeared through the 1970s. The commonest type of lapel fitting is the crescent  shaped or 'moon' shape.  Below is a selection of lapel fittings

Below is a selection of  'Butterfly and pinch pin fitting'  badges. This type of fitting has become extremely popular from the 1990s onwards. It has been used on millions of charity badges and consists of a straight pin attached to the rear of the badge and a special 'butterfly' component which when squeezed opens a clasp that grips the pin when applied.

 Below is a selection of other fittings on metal badges. 'Metal Badge loop at top for pendant' ' Metal Badge stick pin fitting'  'Metal Badge Slip on fitting' 'Metal Badge two lugs Cap Fitting'  and an unusual one (centre bottom row) which is a Metal badge with a screw type fitting. The fitting can often explain the badge's use whether it be for a cap or in the case of the screw fitting it could be for a trophy or piece of equipment such as a radio.

I hope that this article will assist anyone who finds it difficult to determine the type of fitting, if all else fails you can always put 'unsure' or simply add an image of the back of the badge.

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About the author

Frank Setchfield is the author of The Official Badge Collectors Guide from the 1890s to the 1980s and has written countless articles on badges for various publications.

Comments on this article

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  • Mark Bailey

    13 Jul 2011 - 2:52pm

    I have to say that my experience of the 'Butterfly' clip has been very disapointing, having discovered that the clip in question tends to work loose very easily. Last year I lost a badge I was wearing when that blasted clip came off!
    When these modern designers try to "re-invent the wheel" they really aught to make sure it's round!
    Mark Bailey

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