12 Vintage Photo ID Badges


12 Vintage Photo Identification Badges, 1900-1960. Various shapes and sizes of metal badges with fixed attachment pins (functional) on reverse. Of note is the Northern Sterling Pump Company badge is sterling silver and stamped on back.

Vintage employee identification badges are simultaneously a memory object, advertisement, photograph and artifact of business history. They have become of great interest to collectors since they exemplify two important cultural traditions: the use of photographs as jewelry (mourning pins, rings and novelty pin-back buttons) and as an instrument of authority or identification (mug shots, passports and licenses).  Dating from long before the era of digital security cards and fingerprint readers, photo badges are both a personal keepsake and an object of cultural history, looking to us now like wearable time capsules.