eBay lot takes in the unknowing

Posted on June 22nd, 2014 in Fakes,Hobby Trends,Rank by ramore

Here’s the title of a recent offering on eBay (end of May, 2014)

***RARE*** Vintage Boy Eagle Scout Type 1 Or 2 Rank Patch Badge BSA Merit Award

With the following description:

This is an extremely rare vintage 1924 Eagle Scout rank patch that has been kept in excellent condition and is certainly a rare find! I’m not sure if this is a type 1 or 2 but either way it is an extremely rare patch! This patch is a collectors dream and is something that everyone desires but no everyone gets! Bid on it now to secure that you will be the next owner of this amazing patch that is part of scouting history!! Happy Bidding!!! Let me know if you have any question!

And here’s a picture of the listing and patch:

But rather than be an authentic first issue Eagle patch, it is from the modern BSA issued commemorative Eagle patch display.

Now the history of avarice and greed are not new to our hobby. At one level, one can reach more collectors more quickly than ever before but at another level frauds can be found out more quickly. Moral of the story: buy from reputable dealers who know the patches (and that really is fewer than many realize). Also, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.


This seller is back now listing this as:

***RARE***Vintage Eagle Scout Rank Boy Scout Patch 1924 – 1932

with this description:

This eagle rank is an extremely rare find and has been passed down from my grandpa’s collection! He had it displayed and sewn onto a navy blue felt material years ago and this is how I got it from him. This is a patch is in amazing condition compared to others which is really hard to find and is a collectors dream! I have to start getting rid of his collection and this one must go! Let me know if you have any questions that I can help you with and make sure you get this for your collection today!!! Thank you!!

and here’s the picture:



I see that someone did get taken in. Bought it. Paid for it. Received it and then when pointing out that it was the modern fake/repro and tried to return it the seller tried to charge a $125 re-stocking fee. What a scam!


BSA Supply Division report circa 1923

Posted on May 13th, 2014 in Fakes,Insignia by ramore

We do get some interesting items come through our hands. This is small BSA publication from the Department of Scout Supplies (or Supply Service – it wasn’t a Division yet). Among this annual report is a list of companies and individuals that it had to “dissuade” from unauthorized use of Boy Scout name, title, insignia and uniforms during 1923. Now our question is, what was some of this stuff?

The report also has some overall stats for the service – 97,907 orders processed at an average of $5.03 (and in 1923 dollars that was pretty substantial). They had 50 employees.


False Advertising? – rerpo Lone Scout Patch

Posted on April 27th, 2014 in Fakes,Insignia,OA by ramore

My friend Roger Schustereit sent me a link to some eBay auctions. On the first screen, one caught my attention title “BOY SCOUT LONE SCOUT LSA FELT PATCH Cir:1922-1927”

It shows an early LSA felt on felt patch. But, looking at the thumbnail, it didn’t ‘feel’ right. Looking closer, it is stitched incorrectly for that patch and era.

Then, getting into the detail description, in lowercase, it notes that this is a reproduction. Basically, feels kind of mis-leading (although at least he did mention its a reproduction). Its a patch most folks would NOT know the difference from the original because it is so rare. What happens when this patch moves from eBay to a collection?

Going on with this seller’s listings he’s offering, according to the title, “Brand New Tonkawa A2 Felt Arrowhead patch – Super Rare”

Again the details note its a reproduction (a poor one at that) but… the title is bull-crud and hyped. Again, I view this as dangerous for the hobby. What if the buyer pairs up a print-out of the auction “title” page with this patch (but does not show the details from the description)?

Oh well, one more fake to ad to OABlueBook.com

Council Employee Badges circa 1950s

Posted on April 7th, 2014 in Adult Position Badges,Insignia by ramore

In the “We’re still always learning” category comes something Destry just picked up while going through the October, 1956 BSA Uniforms and Insignia guide. What caught both of us is that there was a special pin for women employees of the Boy Scouts. See the write-up below:

Here’s the patch for men:

And the corresponding pin – again for men (this is a double clutch version which would be from 1963-1968):

Now we’ve both seen the pin. Probably have one around here but never paid attention to it nor knew that this is what exactly it was for (frankly, I had thought both genders used the pin pictured above).

The rest of the page this information came from shows some ‘sexy’ patches, in my opinion. I’ve always like “one-person” patches. Badges of office that only one person in the country could wear.

Sometimes the lowest are the rarest – Scout Position Badge edition

Posted on December 10th, 2013 in Adult Position Badges,Hobby Trends,Insignia by ramore

Some of our scarcest insignia pieces are for the lowest offices. What brings this to mind are a couple of  collar pins we have up for auction. They are so obscure that we had to look one of them up, using Scouting History Through Memorabilia, to be sure we had them titled correctly.

They are for Council Employee and Layman:

Why are they obscure? Because most of the folks holding these positions did not wear uniforms (think now, how many of your council office staff or Scout Shop employees wear uniforms? How many of your Pack Committee or Troop Committee wear uniforms?)

Now when identifying pins, and the corresponding badges there are some basics to remember. Red = professional position and blue = volunteer, except when they’re green for troop leaders. So that starts to give one a clue. The next thing to look for is to remember that  commissioned positions have a wreath behind them. Commissioners are “commissioned.” Scout field staff are commissioned. Council officers and above take an oath of office so you will see a wreath behind their badges. Since neither of these pins had a wreath, we knew they were the lower positions.

We see Council Employee pins from time to time, although cloth badges much less so unless they were say certain camp staff positions. Layman pins very rarely turn up unless in collections. Some of the cloth badges from the 1920s-1930s on square khaki cloth are quite obscure and rare.

This is the more common Layman patch from the 1940s and it is still harder to find than many Council positions of that era:

Cool Quartermaster Card

Posted on August 19th, 2013 in Rank by ramore

Eagle Scout memorabilia collectors, lead by Terry Grove, have both documented and driven up the interest in Eagle Scout certificates. As Terry pointed out at an ISCA Dallas National Trade-o-ree, the Eagle Scout certificates and national letter maybe the only item every Eagle Scout received. Well in today’s eBay surfing I saw a card, rarer than the Eagle, that I seldom see. Its the comparable card for Quartermaster.

Sea Scouts are the oldest program in Scouting starting in 1913 (now its 100th anniversary). The Quartermaster is their highest award and is much rarer than Eagle. My guess, and I don’t think I’ve seen them, there probably is a whole series of these cards like Eagle Scout. I find this kind of ephemera as interesting as patches and maybe more so as it documents the history. Very neat piece, IMHO.

For Your Information by Paul Myers in ASTA


Senior collector Paul Myers of Goshen, IN was at the recent Calumet Council Memorial Day Trade-o-ree. Paul is a former editor of the Trader magazine in the 1960s. In the 1990s he wrote a regular column for ASTA, the America Scout Traders Association, which merged with NSCA to form ISCA the national group today. At the TOR Paul was handing out a compilation of the articles he wrote for ASTA. It is now contained in a PDF below. It covers over 75 topics of Scouting collectibles. Not in depth necessarily but my guess is that even veteran collectors will learn something knew from going through these pages.

The topics include:

  • Amaquonsippi trail patches
  • US Grant Pilgrimage patches
  • Lincoln Pilgrimage patches
  • Contest medals
  • Henderson Award System
  • Belt Stencils
  • Colored Background Service Stars
  • BSA Anniversary Week
  • Ribbon Pin Bars
  • 100% Duty
  • Standard Church Troop Bars
  • Original Twelve Regions
  • OA Chapter Flaps
  • Early Registration Cards
  • Scout Emergency Units
  • Recruiter Strips
  • Scout Diaries
  • Boy Rangers of America
  • District Badges
  • Region 7 Hoe Down
  • Sweater, swim suit, hat and jacket badges
  • Veteran Emblems
  • Explorer Top Awards
  • Presidents Awards & Quality Unit
  • SeniorScout Titles
  • Civic Service
  • Overseas Travel Badges
  • Service Library
  • WW 1 War Service Medals
  • National Service Camps
  • Boy Scout Bands
  • Tenure in Scout Camp
  • Service Troops
  • Jamboree Staff Positions
  • Jamboree Participation Awards
  • Jamboree Contingent items
  • Jamboree Shoulder Identification
  • 1950 Jamboree Prototypes
  • Variations in Jamboree Patches and Neckerchiefs
  • Jamboree Region Items
  • Strengthen the Arm of Liberty Program
  • Take Me Home Folders
  • Scout Straight Knives
  • Scoutmaster’s Key
  • Cub Scouting
  • First Class Hat Pins
  • Patrol Identification
  • Folding Pocket Knives
  • OA Chapter Badges
  • Scout Rings
  • Pin Back Buttons
  • State Strips
  • Early Camp Honor Societies
  • Philadelphia District Badges
  • Region Standard Camp Badges
  • Philmont Contingent Patches
  • Merit Badges
  • Boycraft Co. Booklets
  • 10 Year Program Award
  • Sea Scout Ships

Boy Scout Memorabilia Information

Walter Head Acorn Award Info circa 1936

Posted on October 24th, 2012 in BSA Info,Insignia by ramore

Boy Scout Walter Head Acorn Award Pin

From time to time we get one of these pins in from the 1930s. This is the called the President Walter Head Acorn Award named after the BSA National President of the time.


Membership recruitment programs are not new to Scouts. We have been doing them since the founding. Although the pin pops up from time to time, what does not turn up is the documentation about the program. Until a recent estate. Here’s the cover of the brochure explaining the program. The name of the award is about turning an acorn into a might oak. Or for Scouts developing our youth into leading citizens. Neat piece of nostalgia.


Here’s the back page showing the requirements for the pin.


Here’s the inside back showing the requirement for the troop plaque. I’ve had a few of these. They’re not really collected but again a nice piece of history.

Air Scout Patch Prices Solid

Posted on June 22nd, 2012 in Exploring,Hobby Trends by ramore

We’re regularly asked for our opinions on hobby trends and prices. Although this is the deepest recession most of us have ever gone through the evidence is that Scout memorabilia are a solid collectible. Case in point  – long time dealer Jim Clough, himself an Air Scout Ace, recently posted a selection of Air Scout memorabilia on eBay that have now closed.

This program was started in the mid-1940s and ended in the early 1960s. It never was a particularly large program. At its peak it may have had 8,000 Scouts in a given year. I, and I think others, find it some of the most distinctive insignia the BSA ever produced. Even with eBay now flooded with Scout listings due to a free listing special, these items brought solid and arguably record prices.

For example, here’s a set of Air Scout rating strips that Jim offered.

Mostly all mint but not all (Ace Airman looks used). Price realized: $1,775.

My ‘hip pocket’ value for this set was $1,000 – $1,200. Individual prices would add up to more but I’ve always found it emotionally hard to break a set as it is a challenging set to put together.

Other prices realized for Air Scout items he offered:

Air Scout ranks with ‘Air Scout’

1 prop MB $38 (no sale)

2 prop MB $75 (no sale)

3 prop MB $125 (no sale)

4 prop $195 (sold)


Air Scout ranks w/o ‘Air Scout’

1 prop MB $90 (no sale)

2 prop MB $150 (no sale)

3 prop (highest made) $360 (sold)

Air Exploring ranks with ‘Air Exploring’

1 prop not offered

2 prop $150 (sold)

3 prop $270 (sold)

4 prop $470 (sold)

As an aside, he also offered an Air Scout numeral, 7, which brought the minimum bid of $25. Again, a VERY tough series to put together.

I’ll pull out my price reference books for some historical comparisons.


Welding Merit Badge is here!

Posted on April 4th, 2012 in Merit Badges by ramore

Got this in from my Area newsletter: The Boy Scouts of America collaborated with the American
Welding Society, BSA Health and Safety Committee, and OSHA members to create the
Welding merit badge. Scouts can begin working on this merit badge now and the new pamphlet
is available in your local Scout shop. For more information and merit badge requirements
please click here.

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