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  Apollo 13 mission patch: variants and versions

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Author Topic:   Apollo 13 mission patch: variants and versions
rasorenson
Member

Posts: 79
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
I've bought off eBay some patches from Starflight Creations - or Patches and Planes online. One is a "new" - recent version of the Apollo 13 patch. It is the closest version of the original I've ever found for a number of reasons. I've never seen it anywhere else.

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.

I was thrilled to find this guy's newly minted version. I've collected several versions over the years and cannot identify where they all were made. I'd thought I would never find one of the original design.

rasorenson
Member

Posts: 79
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. Got it off eBay for only $4 from a seller who did not know it's origin.

Not that I want to sell it, but just how rare is this patch version?

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 517
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 09-08-2010 10:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too spotted that Apollo 13 Crew patch along with a 3" one on eBay, but the seller Squelie14 would not accept any bids from me or anyone else outside of the mainland U.S.A. I was gutted I could not bid on that pair of patches. You got a real bargin there at $4.00 Bob! I think that 4" one is going to be worth big bucks!

spaced out
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Posts: 2712
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
Likewise I spotted that crew patch on eBay and tried to bid on it but was blocked. US-only listings are a gift for you guys.

As for scarcity, 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
Member

Posts: 86
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
Bumped up to tell you that my 13 patch (the first patch I ever bought, in fact, when I was 12 years old) is of the type the 2nd poster referenced, 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 KSC 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 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" LOL. Memories!

Unfortunately it is not anymore 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...

There is one of these on eBay now that is in worse shape than mine, if that is any reference.

Could be an early AB Emblems design. It is very close to the Lion Bros. but a little lacking in detail. I am looking for a good clean Lion Bros. one, hint, hint... I don't like the horses w/different colors. Anyone know where such an animal may be lurking?

mooncollector
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Posts: 86
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, I guess is a good way to put it, 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.

mooncollector
Member

Posts: 86
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 05-23-2011 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mooncollector   Click Here to Email mooncollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the original AB version patches (horses same color etc.) made its way onto eBay sometime last week with a opening bid (no BIN) of $9.99. I wanted to see how high it would go.

It's not there now. I hope someone didn't sweettalk/strongarm the seller into a private BIN for a ridiculous low price.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 517
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 05-23-2011 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I never spotted that one, do you have the eBay lot number?

If it did sell we will add it to the sales list on Chris Spain's Crew patches website.

Besixdouze
Member

Posts: 191
From: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 05-24-2011 03:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must have missed that one too. The only one I recollect being pulled recently was 120727729558. That particular patch looked suspiciously like a AS13UNK1 according to Chris’ site. A similar example went for $150 at the recent Lunar Legacies auction.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 517
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 05-24-2011 04:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I saw that one too, and yes it was a [AS13UNK1]. I recon someone else recognized that too and bought it with a Buy It Now.

You must add the buyers fee to the $150.00 for the one sold by Lunar Legacies.

mooncollector
Member

Posts: 86
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 05-26-2011 01:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mooncollector   Click Here to Email mooncollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That was the one I saw. Seller ended early- "item no longer available".

Someone must have told him what he had or offered an off-eBay transaction.

Gus Man B
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Posts: 73
From: Winter Garden, FL, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 07-20-2011 10:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gus Man B   Click Here to Email Gus Man B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was looking at the Space Mission Patches website and they have an example of an orange border patch I have. Anyone know if this is just a limited reproduction or if it has some value?

rasorenson
Member

Posts: 79
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.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Apollo 8
Member

Posts: 175
From: Vienna, AUSTRIA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-27-2013 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo 8   Click Here to Email Apollo 8     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is your orange border Apollo 13 patch a bare cloth back patch? I have one too, mine has a plastic back. It was sold on eBay as an AB Emblem's patch (but I am not too sure about that...).

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 420
From: Bethesda, MD
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
quote:
Originally posted by rasorenson:
Does anyone know if AB Emblem produced an Apollo 13 patch before the flight?
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: 35
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: 35
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: 2712
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: 86
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 $200+ Crew Patch to compare but the pics do kind of show that sun rim to be irregular at that exact point.

KAPTEC
Member

Posts: 530
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 XIII patch and the sun rim is exactly irregular like in this perfect reproduction.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2712
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: 191
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. Not sure what I paid but I don't think it was more than about $25.

All times are CT (US)

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