Captain America "Sentinel's of Liberty" badge, 1941-1942
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49 posts in this topic

Hi all,

In my search for a golden age Cap as well as taking a deep dive into the world of both Cap's mythos and comic history, I rediscovered something that I had forgotten about when I originally started on my quest years ago. I recalled seeing that Cap had a fan club during the war and that from 1941-1942 a badge and membership to this "Sentinel's of Liberty" club could be purchased for 10 cents. From my research, it appears that the badges were made of both copper and brass but were discontinued sometime after 1942 or 1943 as all materials were going towards the American war effort. This seems like something that is more within my niche as I study history in college right now and one of my focuses is on the Second World War. This would be an interesting piece as it pertains to both Cap’s cultural role during the war and the character's historical role in comics. Not to mention the fact that it may have galvanized some young person and inspire them to contribute in their own way. So, the badge is a win-win for me both as a history student and a collector.

I have found some recent examples for sale at auction, at least one each year going back the past decade, however, I wanted to check on here and see if anyone has one they'd consider parting with? I know that complete kits go for a steep price but a badge alone can still be affordable, so I thought this might be a better route for me. It doesn't hurt to see what is out there! So, if you have one... let me know, even if it's just to share, I'd love to see it!

Jake

item_75253_1.jpg

Edited by SkoBuffs99
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22 hours ago, Robot Man said:

Not selling mine, but keep your eyes open for the Hakes Americana auctions. They often have one. Set up a search in EBay. They turn up there occasionally. 

By the way, there is a whole thread about these probably a couple pages back...

I've found one so far that I am considering... just need to see how high it goes price-wise. I found the thread you mentioned, lots of good info on there! 

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Out of curiosity, does anyone know when production of these badges was halted in order to conserve materials for the war effort? I've heard 1942 and1943 but haven't found anything definitive. I'm also curious in figuring out a potential number of badges produced. There isn't a ton of information on these despite the history surrounding them and I think it makes them all the more fascinating! I may have to take a deeper dive into finding out more now that the spring semester is over. A summer research project perhaps as a break from my regular studies!

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58 minutes ago, SkoBuffs99 said:

Out of curiosity, does anyone know when production of these badges was halted in order to conserve materials for the war effort? I've heard 1942 and1943 but haven't found anything definitive. I'm also curious in figuring out a potential number of badges produced. There isn't a ton of information on these despite the history surrounding them and I think it makes them all the more fascinating! I may have to take a deeper dive into finding out more now that the spring semester is over. A summer research project perhaps as a break from my regular studies!

I can't say with specificity, but my suspicion is some time in mid to late 1942. The reason why I'm thinking along those lines is that the switch of badge materials from brass to copper was probably within a short time after we entered the war early in 1942. Since the copper badges are considered rarer than the brass ones, it's logical that they weren't produced for very long.  Note: Copper would also become a war commodity in 1943 when pennies were made out of steel instead of copper...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1943_steel_cent 

:tink:

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4 minutes ago, Cat-Man_America said:

I can't say with specificity, but my suspicion is some time in mid to late 1942. The reason why I'm thinking along those lines is that the switch of badge materials from brass to copper was probably within a short time after we entered the war early in 1942. Since the copper badges are considered rarer than the brass ones, it's logical that they weren't produced for very long.  Note: Copper would also become a war commodity in 1943 when pennies were made out of steel instead of copper...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1943_steel_cent 

:tink:

I don't understand you tonight after 7 ales :preach: plus 3 Screwball peanut butter shots:ohnoez:

Edited by woowoo
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9 hours ago, Cat-Man_America said:

I can't say with specificity, but my suspicion is some time in mid to late 1942. The reason why I'm thinking along those lines is that the switch of badge materials from brass to copper was probably within a short time after we entered the war early in 1942. Since the copper badges are considered rarer than the brass ones, it's logical that they weren't produced for very long.  Note: Copper would also become a war commodity in 1943 when pennies were made out of steel instead of copper...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1943_steel_cent 

:tink:

The last reference to joining the club and thus receiving a badge/card that I could find was a house ad in Captain America #20.  It's cover dated November 1942 and had an "on sale" date of September 4, 1942 according to GCD.

I checked all the way to #30 and found no reference to club membership - neither an invitation to join nor an end to the club.

The highest membership card number that I've been able to find is 72046.  That doesn't tell us anything about dates though.

Edited by pemart1966
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1 hour ago, Cat-Man_America said:

I can't say with specificity, but my suspicion is some time in mid to late 1942. The reason why I'm thinking along those lines is that the switch of badge materials from brass to copper was probably within a short time after we entered the war early in 1942. Since the copper badges are considered rarer than the brass ones, it's logical that they weren't produced for very long.  Note: Copper would also become a war commodity in 1943 when pennies were made out of steel instead of copper...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1943_steel_cent 

:tink:

 

19 minutes ago, pemart1966 said:

The last reference to joining the club and thus receiving a badge/card that I could find was a house ad in Captain America #20.  It's cover dated November 1942 and had an "on sale" date of September 4, 1942 according to GCD.

I checked all the way to #30 and found no reference to club membership - neither an invitation to join or an end to the club.

The highest membership card number that I've been able to find is 72046.  That doesn't tell us anything about dates though.

Really great information you've both provided. That helps a ton! I always thought the brass badge would have been the more desirable/rare example being that it was produced earlier but I guess having a lower quantity compared to that of the brass badge will do it to. Everyone wants to have the more limited edition or example! Issue #20 is still pretty early in Cap's publication history, so it's neat that the badge goes that far back. Again, really awesome info. I appreciate it tremendously!

Jake

Edited by SkoBuffs99
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44 minutes ago, N e r V said:

There were “ending” ads for the program. Can’t remember exact months but I pulled this from a previous thread as an example. I believe it was even mentioned back in Steranko’s history books.

 

AEAD12AD-763E-4CB6-852D-324DFAE337EE.thumb.jpeg.8a6e2a22b2b8364d51b4cd6ae7915300.jpeg

Thanks for posting this.  I THOUGHT that I had remembered seeing something once upon a time but thought that I must have mis-remembered it.  

I did some digging and found this ad in All Winners #10 Fall 1943 - on sale date 1943/10/6 as per GCD.

Edited by pemart1966
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I want to thank everyone of the tremendous help! So it seems that Timely discontinued the badges or rather stopped selling them sometime towards the end of 1943. Perhaps they still had a remaining stock but once those were all sold and gone that was it for the badges.

I've also seen some differences with the pin mechanism on the back of the badge. It seems the brass badges featured more of a safety pin type backing whereas the later copper pins seemingly featured a hooked back. Not sure if this is correct, however when looking at past auctions and the badges are specifically identified as either brass or copper, each has the different corresponding back. Attached below are examples of the brass and copper backing.

 

captain-america-sentinel-liberty_1_55f0cd85e55dfbe81aeac29bbb9bda39.jpg

Screen Shot 2021-05-09 at 4.35.07 PM.png

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Does anyone know how many of these badges were produced overall and what idea would you have as for what might still exist? I'd imagine that they would be few and far between in relation to the amount of Cap issues produced between 1941-1943 when the badges were sold. I've only seen a handful of examples over the years. Cap #5 mentions the goal of 100,000 members by July 4th 1941 but nothing that I've seen after this issue mentions whether or not that goal was reached? I'd imagine that 100,000 is on the high end of registered members that had badges as well but even then, how many of them have survived eight decades and are still around?

There may not be an answer, however, I was just mulling the idea of what was out there during the war and what might remain in 2022...

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On 5/9/2021 at 10:33 AM, N e r V said:

There were “ending” ads for the program. Can’t remember exact months but I pulled this from a previous thread as an example. I believe it was even mentioned back in Steranko’s history books.

 

AEAD12AD-763E-4CB6-852D-324DFAE337EE.thumb.jpeg.8a6e2a22b2b8364d51b4cd6ae7915300.jpeg

That picture looks familiar…:roflmao:

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On 4/18/2022 at 12:51 AM, SkoBuffs99 said:

Does anyone know how many of these badges were produced overall and what idea would you have as for what might still exist? I'd imagine that they would be few and far between in relation to the amount of Cap issues produced between 1941-1943 when the badges were sold. I've only seen a handful of examples over the years. Cap #5 mentions the goal of 100,000 members by July 4th 1941 but nothing that I've seen after this issue mentions whether or not that goal was reached? I'd imagine that 100,000 is on the high end of registered members that had badges as well but even then, how many of them have survived eight decades and are still around?

There may not be an answer, however, I was just mulling the idea of what was out there during the war and what might remain in 2022...

I don’t know how accurate this might be, but recently I was talking about the badge on Facebook. I do have 2-3 copies of the 1990s "reissue" in plastic, and (IIRC) Bob Beerbohm stated that even the original, in its later production, was made of plastic. But as you have righteously pointed out here, it seems more likely to me that there were two prints but in metal.

I honestly don’t know. At any rate, given your commendable interest and love for the period both on the collecting passion front and on the historical profile, I take the liberty of pointing out this thread I did time ago, trying to make a comprehensive list (to keep updated) of all the threads on Golden Age comics specifically related to the war climate, events and themes:

And also a recent sales thread I am running which was very welcome (to my delight) also about non-american material of the period, always related to comics, illustration, interwar and WW2 propaganda:

 

 

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On 4/19/2022 at 2:34 AM, Robot Man said:

I humbly have to disagree with Mr. Beerbaum.There was never a plastic version of this badge produced by Timely in the GA. The plastic ones are con giveaways produced by Marvel maybe in the 90's. 

I suspected that… But maybe it wasn’t even him which stated so, I can’t recall. At any rate it was a member which seems reliable, but I found odd that in 1941-42 they might have used plastic.

The Shock Gibson kit is awesome!

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