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Author Topic:   STS-3 / Columbia mission patch
spaced out
Member

Posts: 2748
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-14-2012 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although my Crew Patches site is dedicated primarily to the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo era I included the STS-1 mission from the start because the crew wore a specific Crew Patch as opposed to the regular AB Emblem commercial patch.

I always intended to add a page for the STS-3 mission too because they had an initialed Crew Patch made, which directly follows the tradition of the Apollo 17 and ASTP initialed crew patches.

Now I've finally got round to creating the STS-3 page but in fact I was nudged into doing this because patch collector Colin Burgess (not the author) pointed out to me that the crew did not wear the standard AB Emblem mission patch on their flight suits, as shown by the flown patches Jack Lousma sold in the Heritage November 2011 auction.

On the new page I list this patch design as a possible Crew Patch for the mission, along with the widely-known, but very rare, Initialed Crew Patch.

I'd be interested to know what people make of this. Was this patch actually an early commercially-available version of the AB Emblem patch? Is this design rare?

hoorenz
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Posts: 853
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 03-14-2012 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To my surprise, I found one in my box of extras. Thanks for pointing this out, never realized a version with three different colors in the star existed. One question: if this was the version on the flight suits, why it is classified as not flown on your website?

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 528
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 03-14-2012 05:12 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 have just looked through my collection and spares box, but no luck, all mine are standard AB Emblem ones.

Until today I had not seen or heard of this three different coloured star variant crew patch. So in my opinion, I would say this patch design is very rare and was never commercially available Chris.

It will be interesting to see how many more of these patches will turn up in other members collections, spares and odd boxes?

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2748
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-14-2012 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's corrected now, thanks.

It may be that this patch isn't actually rare, but I guess we'll need to hear from a few collectors to get a clearer picture.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-14-2012 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat find, Chris. It will be interesting to see how many of these are out there.

I used to have a vintage STS-3 that I gave away about a year ago. Now I am left wondering what I might have given away...

mama04
Member

Posts: 143
From: Haarlem, N-H, Netherlands
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 03-15-2012 01:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mama04   Click Here to Email mama04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have one as well. Always thought of it as a variation and nothing special. Thank you for pointing that out to us Chris.

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 528
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 03-15-2012 05:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seeing Maarten's post this morning made me think of the eBay lots sold from the estate sale last August, where presentation pieces from the retired vice president of sales and marketing at AB Emblem, Mr Paul E. Gilsdorf where auctioned off.

Yes bingo! Lot No. 200643282137 had one of these STS-3 'Crew' patches which was part of a presentation piece of a launch photo of Columbia on the STS-3 mission, the 'Crew' patch itself, and a hand written and signed dedication by Jack Lousma and Gordon Fullerton to Paul E. Gilsdorf thanking him for supplying the 'Emblem for this mission'.

So I would say that this is indeed very good proof that these STS-3 'Crew' patches where in fact manufactured by AB Emblem.

The eBay images I have and the description from the seller say this presentation piece does have some fading and moisture damage to the bottom of the item where the dedication and signature of Jack Lousma is. But Gordon Fullerton's signature is bold and sharp under the 'Crew' patch.

This item sold for $41.21 with eight bids from five bidders. (I think the winning bidder got a real bargain for this item).

Another possible one of these patches was sold on eBay Lot No. 370565720408 on the 12th December 2011 in a lot of three AB Emblem Shuttle patches, (STS-3, STS-41D, and STS-28) for $3.76 with four bids from two bidders, the seller was Jaxell42. But again the eBay image I have of these three patches is not sharp, but the characteristics of this 'Crew' patch seams to be present.

One other point I will make is that the Swissartex version of this STS-3 patch is very similar to this STS-3 'Crew' version patch, and could be easily mistaken for it.

hoorenz
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Posts: 853
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 03-15-2012 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Closer inspection of my patch learns that the wing leading edges of the crew patch are embroidered in light gray, a color not present in the 'commercial' version. Also, the outer orange in the star is not as bright - this is no fading, but really a different color.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2568
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-15-2012 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wish I had known of this before I saw Lousma at KSC in early February... but he does enough appearances there that someone should catch him, show him the site, and ask him.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2748
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-15-2012 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe Kevin's post regarding the AB presentation piece proves that the patch was made by AB Emblem.

That leaves two possibilities:

  1. The design was produced by AB for NASA in a separate production run to the standard commercial version.

    ... or ...

  2. This was AB's first commercial version, which was superseded at some stage by the better-known cut-edge version.
Incidentally, I have tried to look at some of the other early shuttle missions to see if any other crews wore a distinctly different patch.

The online photos are generally of very poor quality but as far as I can see STS-1 and STS-3 are the only crews to have worn a different patch, at least through to STS-9. If others have access to better photos maybe they could check this.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30637
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-15-2012 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the clearest image I could find of the patch sewn to the crew's flight suits (via Retro Space Images' STS-3 disc). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a similar close up of the launch and entry pressure suits' patches.

Harald Kraenzel
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Posts: 287
From: Dinslaken,Germany
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 03-15-2012 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hoorenz:
Closer inspection of my patch learns that the wing leading edges of the crew patch are embroidered in light gray, a color not present in the 'commercial' version. Also, the outer orange in the star is not as bright - this is no fading, but really a different color.

I was able to find two of these STS-3 patches and both look like Erik described them.

NJSPACEFAN
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From: Princeton, NJ, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 03-15-2012 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NJSPACEFAN   Click Here to Email NJSPACEFAN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a similar close up of the launch and entry pressure suits' patches.
The pressure suit patch can be seen in this display sold at Heritage last fall. All his pressure suit patches are attached to the mounting.

328KF
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posted 03-15-2012 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is quite a story behind how this patch came to be. My wife and I were lucky enough to have dinner with Jack Lousma at a Spacefest event some years ago and he shared his memories of the patch design.

The artwork is actually a blend of talent from both Alan Bean and Bob McCall. Bean did some of the original sketches but as he had moved away from NASA and into art full time, Lousma was up against a deadline to get the patch submitted for approval. He solicited the assistance of McCall just days before the deadline and flew out in a T-38 to see him with a stack of drafts from Bean.

McCall put the finishing touches on the design (the sunburst, representing the thermal tests done on STS-3 is very typical of his work) and Lousma was able to get it approved in time to have the patches made for the flight.

It's a great conversation starter if you have the chance to talk with Mr. Lousma. Of course, for the pilots, you might want to start off with the "Wheely at White Sands" ...one story I'll never forget!

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 03-15-2012 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard the same story but it was reversed. Bean finished what McCall had begun.

328KF
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posted 03-15-2012 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ah... when I think about it, you could be correct. The references I find online credit McCall with the work with no mention of Bean. I do remember him specifically saying that he flew out to see him at the last minute, and that he had difficulty getting the colors just right in the sunburst.

With the time issue, it may have been that he brought drafts back with him for Bean to finish up in Houston.

Either way, the two artists' contributions made a great piece of art, and has always been one of my favorite patches. I'm actually kind of partial to the Lion Brothers version because it was the first one I obtained and I like the three-dimensional threading in it.

That set of flown patches directly from Lousma's collection would be the definitive set to own, though.

benguttery
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From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 03-15-2012 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seven versions of the STS-3 patch, including the two initialed, but not this one. One I have is very, very close. I will check my box of spares and see what it might have.

Thanks for the keen eyes and interesting stories.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 528
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 03-16-2012 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to let you all know that Chris has updated the new STS-3 page on his website with some changes to the descriptions. The addition of two extra patch types, Swiss Artex and [STS3UNK1] patches. Plus additions to sales of the 'JR' and 'CG' initialed crew patches in the footnotes.

KAPTEC
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From: Madrid, Spain
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posted 03-17-2012 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KAPTEC   Click Here to Email KAPTEC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great! Right now I discovered that mine is a vintage Swiss Artex patch, bought in Houston (Space Photos) in the time of the mission. Thank you guys!

Kevin T. Randall
Member

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From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 03-20-2012 10:33 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've just had an e-mail from Chris Spain about an image of the STS-3 'Crew' patch in the presentation piece which was sold on eBay last August. It seems to be a variant to the flown one sold in November at the Heritage auction and the one shown in the image above. Could this be a prototype for the 'crew' patch?
This patch seems to have a couple of odd traits to it. I don't see the bright yellow thread in the center that's there in the flown version, although there does seem to be a separate fill area there. Also, the base of the Canadarm has a break line of thread that's not in the 'crew' version.

Otherwise it seems clear that it's the same basic design.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 528
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 03-23-2012 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are images of the STS-3 'crew' patch owned by Maarten Wijnmaalen (mama04). It is a near perfect match to the flown example sold at auction in the four patch presentation piece last November. This patch has a thin plastic coating on the back. These images have now been added to the crew patches website.

 

One of these STS-3 'Crew' patches has now been listed for sale on eBay, lot 170812680036, so it will be very interesting to see what response it will attract and receive.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 528
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 03-28-2012 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One example of this STS-3 'crew' patch, (the same as in the images above), has just been sold with a Buy It Now/Best Offer on eBay for $75.00, lot 160693797913. The original Buy It Now was $109.99.

This patch was part of a listing of 13 AB Emblem Shuttle patches, which had been first listed in late November 2011, and had been continually re-listed from then on till now. This lot had 85 viewers on the counter, and only one person asked the seller a question relating to this patch.

This was the first one of these patches worn by the crew during the mission to be listed and sold on eBay, since being recognized as the 'crew' patch.

The second is still running and has just a few hours still to go. It is currently at $107.50 with 14 bids from 6 bidders so far.

But I feel there will be a rush of bids at the very end of the auction time.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 528
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-01-2012 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It finally sold for $203.50 with 16 bids from 8 bidders.

carl walker
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From: Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 04-02-2012 06:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carl walker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tell me about it, I had to go to bed, work today, couldn't stay up to join the rush at 2am CEST.

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

posted 04-02-2012 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was 01:32am British Summer Time for me Carl.

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-02-2012 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to say this kind of reaction makes me almost reluctant to announce a 'new' patch on my site. A patch that was likely sold many times over the years for a few dollars suddenly becomes a must-have item and sells for $200+.

I can't help feel that this particular patch is probably not that rare and that we'll see examples turning up from time to time.

With a little patience - i.e. not rushing to buy the first example to appear at any cost - it should be possible to pick up an example without taking out a mortgage.

carl walker
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Posts: 269
From: Netherlands
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posted 04-03-2012 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carl walker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Chris! Your reference work is invaluable! But it wasn't at any cost for me... sense and a good night's sleep prevailed!

...part of the fun there is being patient for 'good scoops' to come along!

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 528
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-03-2012 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A second example of this STS-3 'Crew' patch was sold with a Second Chance Offer/Buy It Now for $201.00, lot 180855458027 from the same seller as the one sold yesterday.

That's now three of these STS-3 'Crew patches sold in just under a week on eBay.

miborne
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Posts: 3
From: Adrian, MI, USA
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 08-16-2014 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for miborne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently pick picked up an STS-3 patch. At first it appears to be similar to AB Emblem stitching — two color flame orange and yellow (and not the weird Swissartex colors), fully embroidered, the RMS halfway back through the cargo bay.

But it has a merrowed border and not the usual stitched and cut border. Any ideas? Thanks!

BlueHalo
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From: Boynton Beach, FL
Registered: Oct 2013

posted 08-17-2014 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BlueHalo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I checked your site Chris and I pretty much have everything on there except for the Tiger Embroidery patch, which you have identified as STS3UNK2. I also have another version of the STS-3 patches that has "On The Road Again" at the top. I acquired it probably 12 or 13 years ago and I had always wondered about this patch. Anyone know anything about it? I can tell you that it does have the signature Tiger Embroidery manufacture to it. But still an interesting piece.

I have never seen the reproduction patches with the crew initials on them before. Is this something that just showed up recently or was it from the old school boys who are no longer with us and just posted on your site now?

Liembo
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Posts: 167
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 10-11-2014 01:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I found another subtle variation of the STS-3 patch. It's almost a hybrid between the regular souvenir version and the one Chris has identified as "STS3ABV2" on crewpatches.com:

Cut edge with no yellow inner flames like the A-B common version, but same odd Canadarm attachment as STS3ABV2. I've found hree examples, but I lost the reference to the third.

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

posted 10-12-2014 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Liem, the two STS-3 patches you show above look very much like the current version of the STS-3 patch that AB Emblem is manufacturing at this time, and is shown on its website.

Though the one you show in the type 1 KSC packet can't be new as type 1 packets ended in May/June 1983. The current KSC/AB Emblem packet is a type 6.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 167
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 10-12-2014 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The current AB version uses a much thicker thread on the Canadarm (and looks terrible, lacks segmentation detail and appears out of scale) and the attachment point is consistent with their older issue: on the forward part of the port side cargo bay rim.

In the patches I mention the Canadarm goes into the cargo bay behind the forward bulkhead, like "STS3ABV2" (and the LB and early Swissartex versions have this style).

(The patch above on yellow is this eBay item 171497515644.)

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