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Vintage 30s SA FBI badges

Ghostsoldier

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Starke, Florida, USA
Well, I've looked just about everywhere for a reference photo of a 1930's FBI Special Agent badge, and I can't seem to get verification of what one looks like. I was hoping to post here, to see if anyone might have a photo or a piece in their collection they could share.

The only thing I have in the way of a period photo is one of Brick Davis' (James Cagney) badge in "G-Men" (1935)...and I'm not sure if it's authentic, or a Hollywood creation. I've also included a pic of what I think is a modern badge...anyone have any ideas?
vlcsnap-261275.png

1794635102_9902cecb1f.jpg

Rob
 

up196

A-List Customer
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326
They looked like the one you show.

According to FBICollector.com:

The first badge of the Bureau of Investigation was issued shortly after the organization was established in 1908. In 1915, there were 219 agents who carried this badge as their only weapon against federal criminals, for they had not been authorized to carry firearms.

Shortly after J. Edgar Hoover was named director of the Bureau in 1924, the decision was made to adopt a new pattern for the Special Agent Badge. Many designs were considered, and the pattern of the miniature shield crested by an eagle was the final selection. These badges were first issued in May 1927.

In 1933, the Bureau’s title was changed to the Division of Investigation. That same year, a conference of Special Agents in Charge was held in Washington, and they voted unanimously to retain the same style badge but to increase its size and have it cast with a slight curvature. The badges modeled in this fashion were first issued in April 1934, but they were in use for less than two years.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was officially designated in 1935, and in July of that year, Special Agents throughout the Bureau exchanged their badges for the new issue. The original FBI badges were numbered from 1 to 1000. Many of these badges are still in use today.

Source: FBI Recreation Association
 

Ghostsoldier

Call Me a Cab
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2,391
Location
Starke, Florida, USA
up196 said:
They looked like the one you show.

The original FBI badges were numbered from 1 to 1000. Many of these badges are still in use today.

Thanks, UP....I appreciate the info. ;)

When you say "it looks like the one you show", I'm assuming you mean the picture I posted of the lower one, but it's not curved and has no agent number on it....correct?

Also, I found this on the web, but I can't seem to find a larger version, and it shows the evolution of the badge...
badges.jpg

Rob
 

up196

A-List Customer
Messages
326
Correst

Ghostsoldier said:
When you say "it looks like the one you show", I'm assuming you mean the picture I posted of the lower one, but it's not curved and has no agent number on it....correct?

badges.jpg

Rob
Correct. The basic shape has remained the same since 1927, through the successive name changes from "Bureau of Investigation" to "Division of Investigation" to "Federal Bureau of Investigation." I don't recall ever seeing one of that design with a visible number.

The one you pictured, the lower one, may be a reproduction or copy, as it is not curved as it should be, being a post-1935 "Federal Bureau of Investigation" badge, and the details of the eagle and lettering are not sharp.
 

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