ROYAL CORPS OF SIGNALS
ALL RANKS, BROWN "ECONOMY" BADGE.
1941 - 1946
Although sometimes called a Bakelite cap badge the above illustrated cap badges were actually made of a thermoplastic known as cellulose acetate which came in a powder form and was injected into moulds. The need for these badges during the war was for economy reasons and indeed the badges were called "Economy" badges. The Ministry of Supply found that over a six month period some 19.25 tons of brass was being used purely for the manufacture of cap badges. Hence the introduction of the plastic cap badge.
Originally three different colours of badge were produced, bronze brown, silver and field copper. However in the middle of 1944 it was decided that some badges needed a brighter finish and plastic badges should be sprayed with a metallic paint as can be seen above.. This work appears to have been undertaken on behalf of all badge manufacturers by Alfred Stanley & Sons Ltd of Walsall.
During the second world war, Alfred Stanley & Sons Ltd., seems to have been the sole manufacturer of Royal Corps of Signals plastic cap badges making some 307,253. This figure is from a monograph from the Ministry of Supply written after the war. Unfortunately the photograph below was printed the wrong way around but shows the badge off very well.