|Hi! I'm a new member to this forum.|
My father was working at NASA-JSC at the time of the Apollo-Soyuz mission, but for some reason he never received an Apollo-Soyuz program patch from NASA. So I'd like to find a 1975 vintage NASA-issued patch that could fill this "hole" in his collection.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find very much information about these patches on the internet, on the Crew Patches and Space Patch Database websites, or on this forum. So I'd appreciate any help you can give me in my attempt to identify vintage examples of this particular patch.
I currently own two versions of this patch. One is 4 inches (103mm) in width with a cloth back, and the other is 3-3/8 inches (86mm) in width with a plastic back. I assume that both were manufactured by A-B Emblems, although I don't know this for sure.
The smaller example on the left was purchased (by me, not my father) in the late 1980's at JSC, as my first attempt to fill the hole in my dad's collection. The sales brochure for this patch (which I still have) describes it as the "large" version even though it is only 3-3/8 inches in width. There was no "small" version available. It appears to be identical in design and size to older vintage (cloth backed?) examples that show up on eBay from time to time, like this one on the right manufactured by A-B Emblems (according to the back of the package):
My first question is: were commercially available Apollo-Soyuz program patches by A-B Emblems (as in the eBay example above) always of this design and 3-3/8 inch size? Or were larger (4 inch) versions of this patch commercially available from A-B? Notice that the package does not say that this is a "souvenir" version of the patch, as vintage packages often did with the 3 inch Apollo patches.
Regarding the larger (4 inch) cloth backed Apollo-Soyuz patch from my collection (on the right in the photo at the top of this post): it resembles the patch worn in the Apollo-Soyuz crew photo here.
(This photo can be expanded to observe greater detail in the patches.)
The official crew patches in the NASA photo and the patch from my collection both have a squared Cyrillic "3" character unlike the more rounded "3" on the smaller 3-3/8 inch patch. At the same time, however, there appear to be some differences between the patches in the NASA photo and the 4 inch patch from my collection. Notice, for instance, the distance between the ends of the Cyrillic "C" character. In the NASA photo the distance appears to be smaller than the distance on the patch in my collection. You may notice other differences -- if so, please post them.
This leads to my second question, which is: do any collectors on this forum have examples of flown Apollo-Soyuz program patches they can show, or patches from "official" NASA presentations from 1975? I'd like to learn how to identify a legitimate "crew" (or NASA) example (which I assume was 4 inches in width) from an early 4 inch cloth-backed "commercial" example -- assuming such a commercial version of the patch exists.
So to sum up, I'm trying to determine whether the 4-inch version of this patch in my collection is the same version of the patch that was given to NASA employees (and the crew?) at the time of the mission, and can thus legitimately fill the hole in my dad's collection.
Was this 4 inch version of the patch also available commercially? If so, I have a final question: do any of you have a 4 inch cloth-backed example still in its original commercial packaging that you can post for comparison?
I should point out that I'm only talking about the "official" NASA A-B Emblems patches, not the Lion Brothers Apollo-Soyuz program patch, which is distinctly different. Thanks!