1908 USA visitors badge Locomotive Engineers Convention Ohio

$38.00 USD

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Nice visitors badge and ribbon for Locomotive Engineers Grand International Biennial held in Columbus Ohio on May 13, 1908. Scarce!

Badge has image in centre of Franklin County Memorial Building, oval surrounded by Union Jack, Stars and Stripes and flag with Eagle and snake.

Badge #676.

Gold lettering on violet ribbon:

        8th Biennial Grand International
                         May 13, 1908
                       Columbus, Ohio


On back:

          Allied Printing Newark Union Label…
     Buttons made by The Whitehead & Hoag Co.
Newark N.J. U.S.A.  Pat. April 14, 1896, July 21 1896.

Some letter colours bit faded. Paper in back of badge has some staining. No pin (?).

Length 6”.


The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is a labor union founded in Marshall, Michigan, on 8 May 1863 as the Brotherhood of the Footboard. It was the first permanent trade organization for railroad workers in the US. A year later it was renamed the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (B of LE).

In the 19th century, the Brotherhood generally took a conciliatory approach in dealing with railroad management, preferring to negotiate reasonable demands than to go on strike. The brotherhood was seen as elitist by other railway unions, and sometimes came into conflict during strikes. However, it was respected by its members. By 1925 it had accumulated large investments to support member benefits and pension


Based in Newark, New Jersey, Whitehead & Hoag Co were one of the leading pinback/button badge manufacturers in the USA from the late 19th Century to the mid 20th Century. Pioneers in badge design and construction, they became closely associated with political and presidential campaign button badge manufacturing and their variety of badges were covered by a series of patents, the first of which was issued on June 14th, 1892 with its 'Waving Flag' patent. Other patents soon followed:

October 18th, 1892 - 'Badge Bar' patent
March 7th,1893 - 'Badge Bar' patent
June 12th, 1894 - 'Medallion' patent
November 27th, 1894 - 'Design' patent
December 4th, 1894 - 'Design' patent
December 11th, 1894 - 'Design' patent
July 17th, 1894 - 'Button Pin' patent
December 5th, 1895 - 'Hanger' patent
February 25th, 1896 - 'Reversible Medallion' patent
April 14th, 1896 - 'Button Pin' patent
November 7th, 1897 - 'Celluloid Medallion Patent'


Formed in 1892 by Benjamin S Whitehead (1858-1940) and Chester R Hoag (1860-1935) the company became one of the largest badge manufacturers in the world and although they did make hard vitreous enamel badges and medals, it was their celluloid and ribbon badges that dominated their output.