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Welcome to the History of the Postal Badge and Patch.


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This first section of Post Office Inspector and Postal Inspection

Service Badges provided by website visitor. Thank you Arnold.






The information on the following pages is based on extensive research by several Postal Historians including Postal Inspectors both retired and active.

These six badges which are not shown to scale are widely recognized as a complete set of the badges used by Post Office Inspectors and the Postal Inspection Service.  The Inspection Service did not keep detailed records about what badges were actually used and their dates of use.  The following descriptions will detail what is known and what we believe about these badges.

Badge # 1

This badge is the first widely used Post Office Inspector Badge.  Some, but not all, were made by the C.H. Hanson Company of Chicago, Illinois.  There is evidence that dates the use of this badge to 1921, and it may have been used as far back as 1900.  The example of this badge in the collection of the National Postal Museum has no space between the words “Post” and “Office.”  This badge carries an Illinois Seal.  There are several theories about the reason for this, but no solid evidence has been found to support one theory over the others.  The example in the National Postal Museum is engraved “D.F. Angier” on the reverse.  Dana F. Angier was born on October 19, 1875, and died on July 15, 1968.  He is listed as a Federal Clerk in the 1910 Chicago City Directory.  He is listed as a Post Office Inspector in “Treasury Department, Post Office Department, and United States Circuit & District Courts Data for Illinois and Indiana from the Register 1873, 1881, 1907, 1909, and 1911.”  He is listed as a Post Office Inspector on his WWl draft registration.  There have been some copies of this badge produced, and sometimes it is difficult to determine a genuine issue without some provenance.  The similar looking “Chief Inspector Badge” is a fantasy badge made by someone in the 1970s.


Badge # 2

The only known genuine example of this badge is in the collection of the Postal Inspection Service.  It is 3.6 cm in diameter and is engraved on the reverse “J.R. Kerly.”  It is hallmarked “Rentz Bros. MS.SP.”  Joseph R. Kerly was born in Plano, Texas, on September 24, 1882.

He was appointed an Inspector on August 23, 1913.  He had previously been an Assistant Postmaster in Plainview, Texas.  He was assigned to the Austin Division at a yearly salary of $1500.00.  He transferred to the Kansas City Division in 1924, and left the Inspection Service to accept a position with the “Rural Service” in 1932.

We believe this badge is a custom jeweler-made badge and is likely a one-of-a-kind badge that was not issued by the Post Office Department.

The information about Inspector Kerly is from an “Inspectors Record Card” and was provided by retired Inspector Ron Pry.


Badge # 3

This badge is believed to be a prototype badge that was never issued by the Post Office Department.  The only known example is in the collection of the Postal Inspection Service.  It is a die stamped badge and has a wide base safety catch which is a newer design than the catch on Badge # 4.


Badge # 4

 This badge is believed to be the first nationally issued Inspector Badge.  It is commonly called “The Pony Rider Badge.”  There is photographic proof that it was in use in 1944, and testimony from retired Inspector Bernard M. Esch indicates it was issued to him in October 1942.  There are several of these badges in private collections, and the one owned by the Inspection Service is hallmarked “Gustave Fox Co.”


Badge # 5

This badge was first issued in 1973 and was used until it was replaced by the current issue in 1999.


Badge # 6

This is the current issue badge.



Other Inspector Badge


Fantasy badge.






 Unfinished blank. No pin back, catch or enamel.

2000 Millennium Badge.



Postal Inspector 1,2,3,4

The first badge is a rare prototype designed by Raymond Lowey as a possible new badge when the Post Office Department became the Postal Service.

The second badge is a Investigative Aide Badge

  The third badge is an Special Investigator Badge which replaced the Aide badge in the 1970s Special Investigators were converted to Postal Inspectors in 1979.

 The fourth badge is a wallet badge that was likely commissioned by an Inspector for his use.



1970 Proto-type badge (blank, unfinished).







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Last modified:  June 13, 2015.