Today we came across one of our advertisements from 1955 (see below), and it made us reflect on the process of making a quality custom metal badge.
Flashback to 1955 - The best custom metal badges originated from a badge die created by hand, by a die cutter. A craftsman who worked with hand tools to create a reverse relief of a police badge in a steel block that would be used to press the badge detail into a base metal.
Fast forward to today and the same can be said. A quality metal badge starts with a crisp detailed steel badge die. Today with the advances in technology some of the die making process is done with die cutting machinery and computers, but the die cutter of old is still a key part of the process. He is still a hand-craftsman who must work his magic with hand tools in the steel die. The die cutter of today is an artesian who has computer and machinery skills.
When you look at a police badge with an eagle on top of it, or a fire badge Maltese Cross with a fire hydrant in one of the crosses, look at the eagles wings or the hydrants nozzle what kind of detail do you see? If there are veins in the eagle’s wings and it’s a Blackinton® badge those veins were done by hand, by one of our skilled die makers! The same holds true for the detail in the hydrant.
It’s crazy to think that with so many advances in technology we still employ the processes of old. Some things are just better when done by hand! We documented the badge making process with a series of short videos, because we are often asked how do you make a metal badge, or why does it take so long? The first video in this series shows how a die is made… Click here and take a look it’s pretty incredible.