Spratt’s badge and ephemera, c1960s

Spratt's logoCredit.

“The much loved dog calligram (a visual device, cleverly made up of the letters ‘Spratts’ in the image of a dog), was designed in 1936 by Max-Field Bush. In order to qualify for a free Spratt’s badge (as this 1960s example shows), pet owners were asked to collect 32 ‘Trade Mark Symbols’ from either Spratt’s Bonio, Weetmeet Nos. 1 & 2, Ovals, Mixed Ovals, Puppy Biscuits and Spratt’s Meat. The above instructional ephemera and enamel/chrome badge make a wonderful graphic set.

“When Spratt’s, the world’s first large-scale manufacturer of pet foods, was bought by Spillers in 1972, the life span of the lovable dog came to an end.”

Raleigh Bicycle Company, c1950s

Raleigh badge logoCredit.

“This is a great piece of Raleigh memorabilia with the backing card still in partnership with the exquisite Raleigh ‘heron’s head’ badge that proudly promotes the company’s ‘All Steel Bicycle’. The Raleigh marque was synonymous with British manufacturing excellence and was one of the top bicycle brands of the 20th Century.

“The famous Raleigh marque has been associated with bicycles since the company was founded in Nottingham in 1886. A local lawyer, Frank Bowden saw the potential of the company and purchased the firm and formed the Raleigh Cycle Company in 1888. Raleigh’s distinctive ‘heron’s head’ has been an integral part of the company’s trademark since the early twentieth century.”

Smash Martian ‘For Mash Get Smash’ TV campaign, 1974

Smash Martian badgeCredit.

“The Smash brand of instant mashed potato gained overnight success in 1974, due to a highly successful TV advert campaign. The convenience food has since become a firm favourite of the British public and the TV adverts, promoting the product are now indelibly linked to 1970s popular culture.

“Up until the Smash adverts were released in 1974, the Smash convenience food, first debuting in the 1960s, was moderately successful. In order to make Smash granules edible, the contents are poured into a bowl, followed by boiling water and then mixed, to produce a smooth mashed potato mix.

“Cadbury’s (the owner of Smash at the time), commissioned the advertising agency Boase, Massimi, Pollitt to design and run a series of adverts based on a group of Martians, watching humans on television preparing mashed potato in the old labour intensive way. The Martians with their unmistakable mechanical voices, ridicule the humans for their primitive ways which inevitably turns to unabated Martian laughter. The advert ends with the now famous jingle, ‘For Mash get Smash’.”

RCA lapel badge/pin collection, 1930s – 1970s

RCA badgesCredit.

“RCA is synonymous with the broadcasting and consumer electronics industry and the acronym stood for the Radio Corporation of America. Formed in 1919, the company was in existence until 1986 and today the brand is owned by the VOXX International Corporation.

“The above badges show two variations of the distinctive RCA trademark. The lightning bolt ‘meatball’ logo debuted in 1922; the lightning bolt device emanating from the letter ‘A’ is a strong visual metaphor for ‘communication’ and underscores the remaining ‘RC’ letters. (During the early 20th Century, a number of companies involved in the emerging communication/broadcasting industries used lightning bolts to promote the idea of ‘communication’).

“In 1968, RCA changed its serif focused logotype to a modernist sans serif block trademark as seen on the lower right lapel badge/pin. A fashion for sans serif fonts was commonplace in the 1960s and 1970s and the radical change to this design was no doubt inspired by ‘fashion’.”

Guinness, c1950s

Guinness badgeCredit.

“This classic Guinness lapel badge with a supporting slogan would have been purchased for 7d in old currency in the 1950s.

“The slogan ‘Guinness is Good for You’ originated in 1929 by the London advertising agency S H Benson and continued to be used on posters, press advertisements and other promotional items through to the onset of the 1960s. When Benson’s were issued with the Guinness brief in 1929, they asked customers in the Pubs of London why they drank the Irish stout. The overwhelming reply gave way to the birth of a famous slogan… ‘Guinness is good for you’.”

Lego, c1960s

Lego badgeCredit.

“Two 1960s vintage badges from the Netherlands promoting the world famous Lego brand. The endearing little Lego pig character in bright red overalls and hat strikes an excellent welcoming pose for the Danish construction toy manufacturer.

“The Lego letterform logotype has undergone a number of changes since the first rendition in 1935. In 1940, the logo embraced the words “Billund – Denmark” while featuring “LEGO” in isometric perspective. In 1948, “Billund – Denmark” was erased and “LEGO” was given a softer and rounded playful look which has stylistically remained intact with a few notable variations such as the red background (1954) and the yellow outline (1973). The logotype shown on the above badges shows the familiar rounded softer lettering which is such an appropriate typeface for a construction toy manipulated by young hands.

“The Lego name comes from the Danish words ‘LEg GOdt’, meaning ‘play well’ and in Latin the meaning translates to ‘I gather together’.”

More than 300 badges in Robert’s collection. Great stuff.


I love these vintage badges, the Raleigh badge brings back memories of being a child and getting your first bike. I was brought up in Nottingham and everyone had a Raleigh bike in the late 80’s.

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