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  Apollo 13 patches: variants and versions

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Author Topic:   Apollo 13 patches: variants and versions
rasorenson
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Posts: 102
From: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 12-02-2009 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rasorenson   Click Here to Email rasorenson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 13 patch has always been a puzzle to me. The official version before the flight had the orange-ish border, same color as the sun and the three horses of the same tan color, not the usual versions ever since that have used three different colors for the three horses.

Photos of the patch on the astronauts' post-landing blue jump suits show the horses in the same color, but with a silver border. Their flight spacesuits bore the original version with the orange border on launch day. Except for the Lion Bros. patches, I've never seen an Apollo 13 patch that included the three horses of the same color and an orange border. Even the Lion patch uses a much too loud color for the horses and of course used the silver border.

Perhaps, with the switch from Mattingly to Swigert, "they" decided to alter the patch and exchanged the orange border for the silver one. I've never found confirmation of this as "official" and I have no idea how the three different color horses were introduced into what became the standard design of the patch.

rasorenson
Member

Posts: 102
From: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 09-08-2010 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rasorenson   Click Here to Email rasorenson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just acquired: Apollo 13 patch, cloth back, silver border, common colors to all horses, arched ribs in orange embroidery of the Sun.

Gene Dorr's site identifies it as a vintage (1970...) AB Emblem patch. After years of looking, I've only seen this patch this once.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 3125
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-09-2010 05:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I note every example that I spot offered for sale (including yours) at the bottom of the Apollo 13 page of my Crew Patches site. You'll see that there have been around a half-dozen examples sold per year over the last two to three years.

All-in-all a very nice patch to have.

mooncollector
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Posts: 104
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 04-01-2011 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mooncollector   Click Here to Email mooncollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Apollo 13 patch (the first patch I ever bought, in fact, when I was 12 years old) is of the type the referenced above, with the all-the-same-color horses and the rays and craters like he describes. I can state to 100% certainty that this was bought in the Kennedy Space Center visitor's center in the summer of 1970. It has a plain cloth back, not the heat-adhesive backing.

It started my interest in mission patches. To be honest, I thought the Apollo 13 patch was "very cool" and getting that souvenir was the highlight of my vacation! It cost me the princely sum of $1.80 if I recall correctly, "out of my own money." Memories!

Unfortunately it is not any more in mint condition, it got wet at some point and I remember having to iron it and it now has a little bit of misshape to it, which is absolutely making me sick right now! But I wouldn't sell it anyway.

Could be an early AB Emblem design. It is very close to the Lion Bros. but a little lacking in detail.

mooncollector
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Posts: 104
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 04-23-2011 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mooncollector   Click Here to Email mooncollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sitting here now finally being able to compare the Lion Bros. Apollo 13 with the standard A-B version, and I can't believe how poorly executed the A-B one is. After 40 years, you would think a company that does such good work overall would have gotten it right by now!

They shrunk the horses, changed the colors and sort of weakened the lettering around the edge. It's really a shame that that standard version is so ordinary for a mission of such historical significance.

The Lion Bros. one is fantastic! Already pretty much my favorite patch in my collection! It looks like the artwork we have seen for so long. Better detail, better quality, much better "eye appeal." What a difference it makes that the horses are uniform in color (and I don't think the color is too dark at all personally). To me it looks just right all the way.

rasorenson
Member

Posts: 102
From: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 01-23-2013 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rasorenson   Click Here to Email rasorenson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know if AB Emblem produced an Apollo 13 patch before the flight? And if so, what it looked like? Since I've never heard of one — it seems like not. Thanks.

Go4Launch
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Posts: 558
From: Seminole, Fla.
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 01-27-2013 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes. AB Emblem became NASA's official Apollo patch contractor in February 1970, so Apollo 13 was the company's first patch under that contract. See Chris Spain's "The Crew Patch" for that flight.

justin13
Member

Posts: 51
From: Richmond, VA, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 10-31-2013 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After a month or two of preparations, Joe Fricano (Skyforce Space Patches) and I are happy to announce that the final production order for an Apollo 13 replica patch has been placed. I've seen a run-out prototype of the patch, and the design came together really nicely.

More information about ordering can be found here.

Special thanks to Chris Spain for assistance with color-matching for this project.

justin13
Member

Posts: 51
From: Richmond, VA, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 01-14-2014 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update: The new replica patches are now available. As before, more information about ordering can be found here.

Here's the final product:

spaced out
Member

Posts: 3125
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 01-16-2014 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's an excellent, and much needed, replica.

I reckon these patches will be the new default for use in any Apollo 13 themed displays.

mooncollector
Member

Posts: 104
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 01-27-2014 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mooncollector   Click Here to Email mooncollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got mine today and it is a really nice rendering.

There is one relatively minor thing I noticed though. On the pic that was posted before, and on my patch, it appears that the embroidering of the rim around the sun is either incomplete, or staggered in stitching in some way, right about the 10 o'clock position. I wonder if this is just an idiosyncrasy of this run of patches?

I like the "curving fill" pattern of the sun, though, and the more I examine it as compared to pics of the actual crew patch, it appears that the sun rim stitching is sort of a carryover artifact from the original. I don't have a crew patch to compare but the pics do kind of show that sun rim to be irregular at that exact point.

KAPTEC
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Posts: 589
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: Oct 2005

posted 01-29-2014 06:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KAPTEC   Click Here to Email KAPTEC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have an original Apollo 13 patch and the sun rim is exactly irregular like in this perfect reproduction.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 3125
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 05-19-2014 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've just updated my Crew Patches website to add a color variant of the Apollo 13 AB Emblem patch that I call the 'Dark Horse' variant.

This was prompted some time ago by Robert, who noticed that the Apollo 13 patches apparently flown by Jack Swigert on Apollo 13 (at Nate D Sanders) show a distinctive color difference to the regular color scheme with the right hand horse a darker brown and the middle horse taking the color usually used for the one on the right.

I'd be interested to know how many of these are out there. A random sample of 11 vintage bare back patches that I've sold over the years didn't include any examples, so it must be relatively scarce.

Besixdouze
Member

Posts: 236
From: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 05-20-2014 06:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If memory serves, I picked mine up a couple of years ago from Donnis Willis (Lunar Legacies) having decided it was different enough from the usual AB version to consider it a variant rather than an embroidery error.

LM1
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Posts: 736
From: New York, NY
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-07-2020 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I cannot find this exact patch on the Crew Patch website. Note that the moon has no craters and the lettering and sunbeams are very sharp. Any idea which Apollo 13 patch this is?

spaced out
Member

Posts: 3125
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-07-2020 01:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My site only covers vintage versions of the patch. This is a modern one, so I'm afraid I couldn't tell you who made it.

LM1
Member

Posts: 736
From: New York, NY
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-07-2020 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your reply.

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