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Old 09-07-08, 01:16 AM
John Mulcahy's Avatar
John Mulcahy John Mulcahy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,218

As it turns out I have had some correspondance recently with the current owner of the company that acquired Marples & Beasley.

What I have learnt so far is the following;

Marples & Beasley was bought out from the two founders in 1936 by the company that now trades as Rebus. The name Marples & Beasley continued to be used after the acquisition.

They were a significant and bone fide supplier to the War Office and produced both KC & QC era badges and buttons. They supplied large volumes during WW2. The company was run until 1991 when the factory in Birmingham was closed down.

I am told that they sometimes marked sliders (and thus the inference is not always) but looped badges were not marked. "Marples & Beasley" over the word "Birmingham" appears to be the only marking legimately used. The question of naming was apparently left entirely up to the manufacturer and it provided a free advert but also alerted competitors to information that was sometimes considered sensitive. The two big contemporary competitors were Gaunt & Firmin

Apparently detailed records of what badges were produced and when are no longer available from the company that incorporates M&B.

The problem with Marples & Beasley marked badges is that they have been used recently on badges that are clearly re-strikes and thus the mark in itself is no guarantee of originality in abadge. I recall Keith Blakeman alerting us to a rash of fakes with this Mark, Frattorini and others about 3-4 years ago.

Thus do not use the name on the slider alone to judge the originality of the badge use all the features you can learn of here for each particular design as well as judging any markings.


Last edited by John Mulcahy; 09-07-08 at 01:39 AM. Reason: added "The name Marples & Beasley continued to be used after the acquisition".
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