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  #31  
Old 14-09-20, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dumdum View Post
I find that I have two "round cornered" 1916 badges:a real mint one by Gaunt numbered 50906 and a Wylie example numbered 186280 (this has a wrong pin fitted). On the Gaunt badge the corners project a little beyond the Wylie one.
That is interesting , I have been trying to find 'definitive' information about whether the 'round corner' badges were manufactured or modified.

So far , the few that I have seen (including the one I have) were all made by Wylie and I have not yet found a Gaunt example.

Comparing my own example with basic (sharp corner) Wylie and Gaunt badges mine has the "feel" of superior manufacturing with no sign of being modified.

It also appears to be slightly thicker and heavier (if bits had been cut off it should be lighter ?) , am waiting on a micro-scale to check the weight of all three badges.

Here are 3 examples :


1. My badge (Wylie) - no obvious signs of being 'modified'.
2. One from another forum member (Wylie) - signs of corners being 'snipped' and filed/ground (slight 'angle' on face of badge).
3. One sold on eBay (unclear mm but possibly Gaunt) - top point still there and other 2 corners with similar angles on face of badge.

It is difficult to judge these badges without actually handling them (some on this forum can tell different badges/strikes with their eyes shut) but I am of the opinion that there were badges manufactured with 'round corners'.

Discuss !

.
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File Type: jpg 1916 Wylie Curved Front.jpg (46.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Badge 2.jpg (88.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Modified 1 F.jpg (43.0 KB, 9 views)
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  #32  
Old 14-09-20, 03:41 PM
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Hi Mike, ok then:

here is the elusive rounded Gaunt, along with a standard one, and a nickel plated one.

My observations:

The rounded one appeared to be factory made, but when I look at it under a jewellers loop, it is obvious it has had the corners removed, and then smoothed - well, to me, anyway. My photo skills are limited but I have tried to get a decent pic of one corner. It's a proper job, not a backyard effort, which may be why they look manufactured. It is also a much smaller rounding than usually seen, the significance being...anyones guess, but I'd go with simply how the jeweller did it.

As for weights, interestingly, the standard and the nickel plated are the same, at 10.5 grams, while the rounded one is 11.1 grams, and even with he naked eye, is thicker, 1.70mm v 1.60mm admittedly, not much, but noticeable. As your Wylie one appears to be the same, ie thicker and heavier, that is very strange, obviously indicating a different die, but a sample of two is not really enough to say one way or the other, as so many were made, it may be as simple as there were multiple dies from both companies, and the thickness is merely due to that, and not indicative of a manufactured rounded badge. Of course, the reverse is also possible, that the thickness is indicative of a special rounded corner die.

I still think there may very well be manufactured ones, as there are enough rounded ones around that Gaunt and/or Wylie could have decided, even in a limited way, to make them like this, especially if they were getting a load of them back to round off.

So not really much further ahead, but interesting nonetheless

Cheers, Tim

PS, I should add, thanks DumDum for digging yours out - any chance a pic? Cheers!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7334.jpg (64.9 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7335.jpg (63.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7336.jpg (63.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7337.jpg (20.1 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by Chipper; 14-09-20 at 03:43 PM. Reason: add info
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  #33  
Old 14-09-20, 08:43 PM
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I do think that Mikes example has a definite look of a manufactured badge. I think also Tim, that your badge is a modified one but, as you say, it is a skilled modification. The third example (mine) - I am firmly of the opinion that this is also a badge that has been modified but more crudely done (as it happens a Wylie badge). I would also say that the Wylie badge (rounded or not) do have a more substantial feel in the hand.
Cheers
James
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  #34  
Old 15-09-20, 07:09 AM
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Hi all

This has now got me wanting to chase down a "round corner" badge seen in a local junk(sorry, "antique") shop.

My photo skills are possibly even worse than Chipper's but I've looked at both of my current ones and they would appear to be quite even in form and shape.

The Wylie badge is thicker (I will get a size on this if of interest) and the Gaunt thinner.

One strange aspect is that the Gaunt badge has the corners very slightly sloping (photo when I can get one that looks OK).

I know that this is from a so-called "trimming cutter" so imagine, if you will, a triangle cutter with rounded corners, much like a pastry cutter.

Hypothesis: a normally struck "sharp" 1916 badge is placed on a backing plate and the rounded cutter trims off the corners.

Ah ha! This would also account for the badly "blurred" Gaunt name to the rev erse!

They certainly didn't make many of them given their survival rate.
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  #35  
Old 15-09-20, 07:14 AM
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Sorry about the typo.... "rev erse"

I wonder if he exists the Rev. Erse?
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  #36  
Old 15-09-20, 07:29 AM
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Yes, I see that they can certainly be that, I bought this yesterday, again, a local antique shop and for very little, just five of my increasingly hard earned pounds.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
Be careful Frank , they are addictive !


I started out with one basic official 1915 badge but then 'had' to get the 1914 and 1916 badges.

Then discovered there was an "enrollment" badge (War Munitions Volunteer) that was was issued to workers waiting for placement in factories so 'had' to get that one.

Next was to get the enamelled versions of the 1915 and "enrollment" badges.

After that it was to get a nickle/silver 1915 badge and a slightly different 1916 badge (rounded corners).

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...p?albumid=4155

And I have hardly even scratched the surface of the numerous variations of these badges.


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  #37  
Old 15-09-20, 08:29 AM
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Yes, I see that they can certainly be that, I bought this yesterday, again, a local antique shop and for very little, just five of my increasingly hard earned pounds.
Nice one , a quick look on eBay today shows prices from £12.00 - £45.00 !

There are so many of the 'basic' ones around and I picked up the majority of mine for between £5.00 - £10.00.


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  #38  
Old 15-09-20, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipper View Post
My observations:

The rounded one appeared to be factory made, but when I look at it under a jewellers loop, it is obvious it has had the corners removed, and then smoothed.

It's a proper job, not a backyard effort, which may be why they look manufactured.

Sorry Tim , I looked at the first photo before reading the text and with the naked eye (no zoom or loop) could see that it had been 'modified'.

It appears to have been simply filed (from front to back) to remove the 'tip' of the point rather than make a proper 'rounded' corner (that is why corners are 'longer' on modified badges).
A decent jeweller should have 'filed' side on to avoid 'sharp' edges and then removed any burrs on both faces of the badge.

NB. When I left school I did a 3 year gasfitting apprenticeship , working extensively with brass and copper , and if any of my exam pieces had sharp edges or burrs they would have lost marks !

Regarding the weight/thickness difference , it is entirely possible that a different die was used as the MM on mine is on the opposite side to the majority of Wylie badges I have seen. But this raises the question of why they would change and why so few of these exist ?

Photos

1. Your original photo with areas highlighted.

2. Close up of my badge edge showing no signs of trimming or filing.

3. Close up of rear corner - no sharp edges or burrs.

4. Close up of front corner - no sign of trimming , this usually appears as a slight 'angle' on edge.

I'm no expert on these badges but it is always worth have an exchange of views with other forum members so that between us we may finally resolve this puzzle.

.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7334.jpg (67.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Close up 1.jpg (22.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Close up 2.jpg (49.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Close up 3.jpg (56.5 KB, 8 views)
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  #39  
Old 15-09-20, 10:22 AM
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Hi Mike

thanks for the pics, from them, yours certainly looks manufactured, and clearly mine has been modified.

It may be as simple as they were made, the ladies realised they caught on clothes, or some other reason they were not happy with them, got them modified and Gaunt/Wylie realised they should just start making them that way.

I don't think any of us are experts, but I do know exchanging ideas and hypothesis' is a great way for us all to learn, so thanks to everyone who has contributed.

Cheers, Tim
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  #40  
Old 15-09-20, 11:02 AM
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Hi

Anyone noticed the 1916 badges with the "turned down" corners? You see them now and again and I wonder if they're not the same attempt to make these badges less liable to catch on clothing, etc.

Whoever thought that nice sharp corners (and three of them at that...) was a good idea in a factory situation, clearly wasn't thinking that deeply!

I have a small enameled stick pin that proclaims itself to be the "Pest Free Merit Award" . It is diamond shaped and comes to a sharp point.

I used to wear it in the hope that it would keep pests away (it only worked sometimes...) but after I had cut my thumb on it brushing down my lapel, it was relegated to a drawer!
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  #41  
Old 15-09-20, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipper View Post
It may be as simple as they were made, the ladies realised they caught on clothes, or some other reason they were not happy with them, got them modified and Gaunt/Wylie realised they should just start making them that way.
A couple of 'possibilities' I have considered.

1. Safety - Sharp corners dangerous and basic/home done modifications damaging badges (and also 'unofficial' as badges were considerd government property). But ...as these badges were issued over a 3 year period (1916-1918) would't this problem have been noticed/recified early.

2. "Private purchase"/commission (1) - Like the Templeborough backplates , as a 'thank you' from specific factories/companies to female staff when they were replaced by men at the end of the war. As this would be late 1918 it would explain why so few (compared to sharp cornered) are around.

3. "Private purchase"/commission (2) - As the 'official' policy was that badges had to be returned, then these (superior quality) badges were produced as a keepsake/momento . Again this would be late 1918.


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  #42  
Old 15-09-20, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
As the 'official' policy was that badges had to be returned
Found this interesting little titbit from a letter in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph on 15 July 1915.

“Some months ago my employers presented me with an official war service badge to wear in the lapel of my coat. I was informed that the badge, which is of brass with a crown, surrounded by “On War Service 1914” in blue enamel, was provided by the government for men of military age engaged in munition and kindred trades. (Incidentally, I was made to deposit 2s. 6d. with my employers, which is to be returned when I return the badge at the conclusion of my service.)"

To put this in perspective from a female worker's point of view , the government had set a minimum weekly rate of 20 shillings for women doing skilled ‘male’ work.

But :

"employers often circumnavigated the edict. ‘Male’ jobs were often ‘diluted’ (broken down into multiple processes) to avoid being labelled ‘equal work’; and while 20 shillings was a minimum, it came to be interpreted as a standard".

So they 'may' have had to pay a deposit of 1/8th of their weekly salary.


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  #43  
Old 15-09-20, 01:48 PM
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Hi Mike, all interesting and possible possibilities (if that makes sense!)

I lean towards the safety aspect, especially for the standard brass, be it made or modified. The gilt sharp edge ones and the nickel plated ones may be a factory foreman indication, may be a late war/post war private purchase for civilian wear, (like the men's 1915 ones which turn up nickel plated and even chromed) or it may be something completely different...

Below, just for comparison, I have listed the vital statistics of mine:

1) Gaunt Brass 10.5g
2) Gaunt Gilt 9.9g
3) Gaunt Nickel 10.5g
4) Gaunt Rounded 11.1g
5) Wylie Brass 10.8g
6) Wylie Nickel 11.5g

DumDum, if you have a turned down example, I'd love to see it. One probably not that significant fact, is the Gaunt gilt badge is slightly vaulted - looking at it, it's been done post manufacture.

Cheers, Tim
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  #44  
Old 15-09-20, 07:22 PM
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I might have run to twelve quid, but, not forty odd!



Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
Nice one , a quick look on eBay today shows prices from £12.00 - £45.00 !

There are so many of the 'basic' ones around and I picked up the majority of mine for between £5.00 - £10.00.


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  #45  
Old 15-09-20, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipper View Post
Hi Mike, all interesting and possible possibilities (if that makes sense!)

I lean towards the safety aspect, especially for the standard brass, be it made or modified. The gilt sharp edge ones and the nickel plated ones may be a factory foreman indication, may be a late war/post war private purchase for civilian wear, (like the men's 1915 ones which turn up nickel plated and even chromed) or it may be something completely different...

Below, just for comparison, I have listed the vital statistics of mine:

1) Gaunt Brass 10.5g
2) Gaunt Gilt 9.9g
3) Gaunt Nickel 10.5g
4) Gaunt Rounded 11.1g
5) Wylie Brass 10.8g
6) Wylie Nickel 11.5g

DumDum, if you have a turned down example, I'd love to see it. One probably not that significant fact, is the Gaunt gilt badge is slightly vaulted - looking at it, it's been done post manufacture.

Cheers, Tim
Hi Tim

Great work! I think that the very slight vaulting (which I'd not noticed before and will try to photograph) is this "trimming" of the corners.

I was going to try to do a drawing of what I mean but if you think of the struck badge (with the raised Gaunt back stamp of their address) like a piece of cheese placed between two pieces of metal.

The backing piece is solid, flat but shaped with triangular round corners to match the cookie cutter that is brought down on the previously struck badge. As the badge is trimmed the edges are pulled down giving rise to the vaulting. The raised letters would then be flattened as I hope to show.

I also spoke to a friend who at one time worked in small place that produced pressed metal odds and sods. "Oh yes, a fly press would cut that very easily and one of our big problems was to stop the finished piece bending like your badge..."
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