Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Emergency Medical Technician, EMT Badge, Sun Badge Company, 7 Point Star, circa 1970's

Today we'll be taking a look at a new addition to the badge collection.  This badge is a vintage, custom made, Emergency Medical Technician badge from the Sun Badge Company of California.

This badge came from a collectors estate sale, and unfortunately, the detailed history of this badge was lost with its last owner.  There are a few clues that the badge holds for us though.

This badge was custom made by the Sun Badge Company of Ontario, California.  The Sun Badge Company started making badges in 1957 and is still custom making badges today.  They are still considered one of the top badge makers in the business.

This Emergency Medical Technician badge is quite unique on several fronts.  First, it is a custom made badge, not a "stock generic" badge.  Second, it is a classic Law Enforcement, 7 Point Star design.  Stars are traditionally used for law enforcement, not medical or fire service. This leads me to believe that this badge was either a private purchase badge, or was an early EMT badge for some department.

We can narrow the age of this badge down by looking at a couple of details.  First is the "Star of Life" center  piece.  The Star of Life was adopted in 1973 when the early EMT programs were essentially coordinated and organized nationally.   Another interesting aspect of this center piece, is the fact that it is actually stamped in the badge metal.  Most badges made today use a "glued on" center piece".  This EMT badge is definitely "old school construction" !

The catch on the back of this badge is a small burgess catch, which was first patented in 1910, but was commonly used on badges into the 1960's.  The catch, combined with the "Star of Life" center, leads me to believe that the badge is a mid 1970's vintage.

I completed the "new",  Emergency Medical Technician 1A program in California, back in the early 1980's, when I was a new firefighter with the Butte County Fire Department in Chico, California.  For now, I'll consider this badge my "Commemorative EMT Badge"  in recognition of that early career milestone!

In my Butte County FD Turn Outs, circa 1984.

Here are the photos of this beautiful badge.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Swedish Army Soldier's Book, Inskrivningsbok 1924, Swedish Army Call-Up Postcard Militära tjänstebrevkort (MTjbK) Ing. 2 Göta Ingenjörregemente, Ing. 4 Bodens Ingenjörregemente

Today we'll be adding to our current thread of Swedish Military items.  I recently picked up a very rare Soldier's Book from 1924 and a Call-Up Postcard for the same soldier.  Both items are very seldom seen here in the US!

I am not a Swedish speaker, so I will do my best to explain this little book and how it fits in with the old Swedish Military Conscription System.  There is very little information published about these little books and even less that explains what is included inside them.  I did however, find a wonderful genealogy website that is published in both Swedish and English, that has a very good description of a couple of similar books (1907 and 1940).  It also does a great job of explaining the old Swedish Conscript System.  I encourage anyone who is interested to check it out:

These little books were given to each soldier when he first reported for his mandatory military service.  The book was his personal military record and it was expected to be kept by the soldier at all times as proof and record of his service.  These books were known as the Inskrivningsbok.

This particular book was issued to Bengt Vilhelm Dahlen, born in 1904.  Inside the book, it notes that he first served with the Göta Ingenjörregemente Ing. 2, in 1922 (Göta Engineer Regiment 2), and then served with the Bodens Ingenjörregemente Ing. 4 in 1924 (Bodens Engineer Regiment 4).

It is interesting to note that the Model 94/14 Carbine Ammo Pouch that I covered in a previous post, was also issued to the Göta Engineer Regiment 2,  Ing. 2.  Who knows, this very same soldier may have actually carried that ammo pouch..........

The personal information listed in the book for Bengt Dahlen, shows that his civilian occupation was Forestry Worker, "Skogs Arb".  The fact that the hand written notations in the book are in Swedish, and they are written in a "difficult to read cursive", I will have to leave things there.  If anyone reading this can shed some more light on the information inside the book, please contact me!

UPDATE 10/10/16:  Thank you to Hans Högman in Sweden, for the following additional information.
“Korp.skola” in the enrollment book is short for “korpralskola” which literally means corporal school. So, this person had been to a training class to become a corporal.
On the same page, to the left we have the phrase “Fast anställning” (split on two lines) which means “regular employment”. I looks like Dahlén was enlisted as a professional soldier (not a draftee) between January 8,1922 and October 31, 1924.
Dahlén was born on April 5, 1904."

The person I bought this book from, also had his US passport that was issued in 1964.  He told me that he acquired a bundle of personal papers at an estate auction, and these were in that purchase.  From what we can determine, he immigrated to the USA in the early 1960's, married, and became a naturalized US citizen.  It appears that he lived in New York City, in one of the predominantly Swedish neighborhoods at that time.  I did not acquire the passport, but I do have a few photos of it.

US Passport

In the back of the little Soldier's book, there is a pocket that contains a "Conscription Call-Up Post Card".  These were know as Militära tjänstebrevkort (MTjbK).  These cards were mailed out to notify each soldier of the time, place and unit that he was to report to for his annual or special service.  The postmark on this card is 1925, with Bengt Dahlen's name.

That is about all I can tell about this little Soldier's Book right now, so I will let the photos and scans of the pages speak for themselves.  In the interest of historical documentation, I have scanned and included ALL of the pages in this album!  Enjoy!

Entries showing service with Ing.2 in 1922, and Ing.4 in 1924.

Pocket in back of book with "Call-Up Card".

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Swedish M07 Browning Pistol Holster, Holster Model 1908 M08, Andra livgrenadjärregementet I.5, Jämtlands fältjägarregemente I.5, (2nd Life Grenadier Regiment / Jämtland Rifle Regiment)

Today we'll be taking a look at another piece of Swedish Army field gear.  This time the item is a wonderful example of an early issue, Model 1908, leather holster for the Swedish Model 1907 pistol.

This particular holster is one of the rarer, early issue holsters that were first issued when the Swedish military adopted the Model 1907 Pistol (FN-Browning Model 1903 - Swedish Version).  The pistol was designated Model 1907 for the year it was officially adopted, and the holster was designated Model 1908, for its first year of issue.

The first leather holsters that were issued for the Model 1907 pistol  were made with one piece of  leather for the holster body, without a reinforcing band of leather around the muzzle end.  The next version of these holsters has the band of reinforcing leather at the muzzle.  The early, non-reinforced holsters are the hardest to find.  My holster is the early, first issue version.  You can see an example of the "second version" holster here:

A smooth leather version of this holster was made for the Swedish navy and designated the Model 1910.  

The Swedish Model 1907 pistols were in service from 1907 and into WW2.  In 1940, the Swedes adopted the Model 1940 Lahti pistol and most of the Model 1907's were pulled from service.  Some of the Model 1907 pistols remained in secondary service well into the 1960's.  
In the 1980's, Sweden adopted a more powerful cartridge load and they started experiencing damage and failures with the Model 1940 Lahti pistols.  When the Model 1940 pistols started to fail, the old Model 1907's were put back into service for a short time, until the more modern Glock pistol could be adopted in the early 1990's.

My holster is stamped with the large, early Swedish Single Crown stamp, as well as the small 3 Crown Stamp.  The Single Crown stamp would have been the original stamp, used up until 1942, when the 3 Crown Stamp was adopted.  Most likely the 3 Crown Stamp was applied with the holster was put back into service post-1942. 
The holster is also marked with the unit designation, I.5.  Having all three stampings on a single holster is very rare, and having them so clear and well placed on the flap is even rarer!

The I.5 stamp shows that the holster was issued to one, or both, of the following regiments:

Andra livgrenadjärregementet   I.5    
(2nd Life Grenadier Regiment)

Jämtlands fältjägarregemente    I.5   
( Jämtland Rifle Regiment)

The Andra livgrenadjärregementet (2nd Life Grenadier Regiment), used the I.5 designation number from 1816 to 1927.  This is most likely the unit the holster was initially issued to.
In 1927, the 2nd Life Grenadier Regiment was combined with the Jämtland Rifle Regiment.  The Jämtland Rifle Regiment abandoned their old unit number of I.23 and adopted I.5.  This unit used I.5 from 1928 until 1974.
So, now that we've muddled through all of that, we can see that this old holster has had quite an interesting run of service!

Let's take a closer look at this wonderful, old Swedish holster.