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  Apollo 14 backup crew patch: 1000 produced?

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Author Topic:   Apollo 14 backup crew patch: 1000 produced?
spaced out
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Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-04-2011 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's an interesting patch lot on eBay at the moment (220763339026) which includes a 1971 letter from A-B Emblem stating that only 1,000 examples of the Apollo 14 Backup Crew patch were produced.

The letter is accompanied by AB Emblem patches from Apollo 7 through 14, plus the silver border Apollo 14 backup crew patch.

I would assume that the 1,000 limited run the letter refers to was actually the gold bordered version rather than the silver bordered version sold to the public, but it's interesting to see a figure being put on this in any case.

The letter also states that it is accompanied by AB's full set of Apollo emblems (as of 1971). Interestingly, the Apollo 11 version included is the 'green moon' patch which goes some way to confirming that this really was AB's early version of the patch.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 04-04-2011 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaced out:
I would assume that the 1,000 limited run the letter refers to was actually the gold bordered version rather than the silver bordered version sold to the public...
Actually, I would assume the opposite; that the 1,000 refers to the silver-bordered version.

The letter seems to accompany the set of patches offered for sale. Why then would AB Emblem send a silver-bordered patch, reference it as being a true collector's item and then refer to the production run for the crew-only gold-bordered version?

benguttery
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From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
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posted 04-04-2011 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is an important piece of information. Great catch! 1,000 pieces I guess is "limited," but it sounds like a lot.

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
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posted 04-04-2011 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did note that it was the silver border version accompanying the letter but my suspicion was that the marketing guy was sending one product while referring to another.

If we take it at face value and it really does refer to the silver border version then that does make it very significant, as 1000 is really a pretty small number - not much more than the complete 900-odd Apollo 17 or ASTP intialed patch runs.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-04-2011 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My impression was always that the silver border version was limited in quantity, just based on how infrequently it shows up for sale in comparison to other same-vintage Apollo AB Emblem patches...

andrewcli
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From: La Jolla, CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 04-04-2011 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would have to agree with Robert. The 1,000 patches refers to the "true collectors" backup crew patch, rather than the actual crew patch. I have a poster that was advertising a special edition for the complete set of Apollo patches and it included the sliver patch as a bonus.

In this set, it has the regular Apollo 11 patch and the Apollo 13 crew patch. BTW, the patch set was advertised by Conrad Industries, which gave rise to AB Emblem.

Jacques van Oene
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From: Houten, The Netherlands
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posted 04-04-2011 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jacques van Oene     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, but the flown version (that was aboard Apollo 14 and also is now on the moon) of the Apollo 14 back up crew patch had a gold border and not silver, so how many of those were made?

And to collectors that one (with the gold border) is more interesting I think...

Besixdouze
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From: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
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posted 04-05-2011 04:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I'd like to know that too. Especially considering three have been sold this year with two from the same seller on eBay, one of which I bought. Any thoughts?

Kevin T. Randall
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From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-05-2011 06:14 AM     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 would like to think that the figure of 1,000 was for the original gold bordered version and not the later silver version, which I would say was still being made after 1971 as a bare backed patch.

I only make it as two gold and two silver versions of these Apollo 14 crew back-up patches sold on eBay so far this year. (Though I might of missed one if it was a very quick sale with Buy It Now). The only other gold one was sold at the Lunar Legacies auction on 19 Feb.

Gold version:

  • 190512306722 22nd March $305.00 with 20 bids from 6 bidders.
  • 190519247577 3rd April $275.00 Buy It Now.
    Both from the same seller, You-go-mom (816).
Silver version:
  • 300508466709 2nd Jan. $19.95 with 1 bid.
  • 300520191081 4th Feb. $34.00 with 6 bids from 4 bidders.

    Both from the same seller, Gungal1 (295).

Besixdouze
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From: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
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posted 04-05-2011 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was a silver version here - 130499558104 along with a bunch of the usual suspects - which went for $81 with 8 bids. Great provenance on the patches from You-go-mum but I'd probably be visited by the US Secret Service if I was to say any more.

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 458
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-05-2011 07:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well spotted Besixdouze. I did look at that lot of patches at the time, but the felt stuck to the backs of the patches put me off.

Getting back to the current lot of AB Emblem patches and letter. I don't think the seller is going to get many bidders willing to bid on his starting price of $499 (£309.13). Not that us International bidders will get the chance to bid even if we wanted to, because he has an International bidding bar in place on that lot.

Besixdouze
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Posts: 147
From: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 04-05-2011 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well this German seller - siren09 item no 150566580340 - certainly didn't get the £440 ($710) she wanted for her collection and book.

Back on topic, it's certainly an interesting lot thanks to the letter but unless you want to acquire an almost complete collection at once, I can't see it selling but we will have to wait and see.

Go4Launch
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From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 04-05-2011 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One question, which would support the "1,000-as-silver-border" theory, is that if Cernan/Evans/Engle primarily had these made to stash aboard the Kitty Hawk, and to have some for themselves, why order 1,000? That strkes me as a pretty big run for something they (presumably) anticipated as a one-time gag...?

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
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posted 04-06-2011 01:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On reflection I think it's right that the 1000 does in fact refer to the silver border version.

As for the gold version I'd suspect a run of 150 to 300 examples.

andrewcli
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From: La Jolla, CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 04-06-2011 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another thing that must be taken into account, who pays for the patches, the astronaut themselves? If 1,000 "gold" patches were made wouldn't the cost be prohibitive for them. At that time, the astronauts were not making that much money and to spend that amount is kind of crazy. I think the 150-300 is more reasonable.

On a side note, I wonder how many embroidered patches can be carried? If I remember correctly, Donnis Willis had a package of 25 Apollo 1 patches. It was a pretty big package and I doubt you can make it any smaller if you placed it under vacuum compared to beta cloth patches. Of course this doesn't apply to the gold BU patches.

Kevin T. Randall
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From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
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posted 04-07-2011 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see the lot of AB Emblem Apollo patches from 1971, which sparked this thread, did not sell for the starting price of $499.00. What a suprise!

Also I see that the other set of 15 AB Emblem vintage patches that Besixdouze noted as sold for $81.00, has now been re-listed.

Kevin T. Randall
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From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-13-2011 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The set of patches that sparked this thread has just sold for $300.00 (£184.46, Lot 220766627852).

328KF
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posted 04-13-2011 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the subject of the Backup patch gag, in looking at the video from EVA 1, I spotted an odd oval-shaped object apparently stuck to one of the velcro strips on Shepard's PLSS. It is just about the right size to be one of the Roadrunner patches.

If I recall (haven't looked at it in awhile) I don't think it was there on EVA 2, which leads me to think that Shepard found it and tore it off, or it fell off.

If anyone can get a screen grab and post it here, please do.

Besixdouze
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posted 04-14-2011 07:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may find this of some interest: Apollo Lunar Surface Journal - Back-up-Crew Patch

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
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posted 04-14-2011 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That particular patch must surely be the ultimate version to own - worn on the back of Shepard's PLSS on the lunar surface throughout the first EVA. Wonder if they put it somewhere safe or just threw it in a corner somewhere?

328KF
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posted 04-14-2011 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Besixdouze:
Apollo Lunar Surface Journal - Back-up-Crew Patch
That's awesome! Thanks for posting that link. Surprising they didn't see it on the PLSS before heading out. Cernan and crew must have been rolling on the floor laughing when they saw that on TV.

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