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Embroidered Space Patch Manufacturers

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Although only one or two companies were involved in producing space mission patches during the Gemini project, at the peak of public interest in NASA's manned space program, around the time of the first moon landings, many embroidery companies tried their hand at producing space mission patches.

Below I've tried to give brief details of all the companies known to have produced space patches during the pre-Shuttle era, although there are doubtless others that have not yet been identified. The list also includes a couple of individuals who have had replicas of pre-Shuttle era patches produced in significant quantities.

Alphabetical List of Manufacturers and Producers

A-B Emblem
Weaverville, NC
NASA's official patch supplier from around 1969, and the maker of all crew patches from Apollo 13 onwards. AB Emblem are probably the only company to have produced souvenir patches for all NASA's manned spaceflights.
Cape Kennedy Medals Inc.
Cocoa Beach, FL
Produced the Skylab II Wives patch, a version of the regular Skylab II mission patch, and a full set of 3" Apollo mission patches.
Other Apollo-era mission patches sold in CKM packaging are actually AB Emblem versions and even 3" AB patches were sometimes in CKM packaging, presumably when CKM ran out of their own stock.
Cargo Bay Emblems
See: Wagner, Randy
Dallas Cap & Emblem Manufacturing Inc.
Dallas, TX
The makers of the Apollo 12 'quarantine' crew patch and the 'sparky' crew souvenir patch as well as the 'Grumman' Apollo 11 patch but no other 4" space patch from this company have been identified to-date. They made 3" patches for all missions up to the end of the Apollo program but the company went out of business in 1975 after losing a major legal case regarding trademark infringement.
Eagle One Aerospace
See: Wagner, Randy
GEMSCO
Millford, CT
Like Hilborn Hamburger, GEMSCO (General Merchandising Co.) produced oversize patches for the military, with some crossover into the realm of space patches with some recovery patches (Apollo 15 and 16) and possibly some related oversize mission patches.
Hallmark Emblems
Tampa, FL
Apparently produced a version of the Skylab project patch. Likely produced some other Apollo-era patches but none positively identified to-date.
Hilborn Hamburger
Passaic, NJ
Famous suppliers of military patches, they produced a number of oversize recovery patches for the U.S. Navy, but also 5" Skylab I and II mission patches and a 4" Skylab III patch. They probably made other space mission patches that have not been identified yet.
Hunt, Randy
Better known as eBay user 4gator, Randy Hunt (deceased 2007) had a large number of replicas of rare space patches produced during the 1990s and 2000s. Unfortunately, the eBay listings for these patches were ambiguosly worded in way which implied the patches being offered were originals rather than replicas, leading to much confusion among collectors.
Lion Brothers Co., Inc.
Owings Mills, MD
Famous for their high quality Apollo mission patches and the hidden identifying hallmarks they introduced in some of their designs. Lion Brothers did not produce and patches for the Gemini missions, but produced versions of every mission patch of the Apollo and early Shuttle eras.
Stylized Emblem Co.
Hollywood, CA
Makers of the Apollo 1 crew patch. No other space patches from this manufacturer have been identified to-date.

Swissartex Emblem Inc.
Asheville, NC
Swissartex are best known for their Shuttle-era patches. After producing bare cloth back versions of the STS-2 and STS-3 mission patches in 1981 and 1982 Swissartex switched to using a waxy plastic coating, which was itself replaced by a vacuum sealed coating from around 1986. Swissartex supplied patches for the KSC Visitor Center from 1983 to 1987, and replaced Lion Brothers as the supplier to the Smithsonian NASM from 1985 to 1991. The company later became Eagle Crest Emblem.
Texas Art Embroidery Inc.
Houston, TX
Makers of some very high quality patches and involved from the earliest days in space patch manufacture. They are known to have prodcued the Gemini 8, 9 and 10 crew patches, plus the Apollo 7, 8 and Apollo 11 crew patches, and the Apollo 12 recovery crew patch.

Interviewed by Kenny Suit in 2014, the founder of TAE, Ed Sheinberg, revealed that their patches were produced exclusively for NASA in very small runs (e.g. 110 Gemini 10 patches). They actually outsourced the manufacturing to other companies due to the costs of manufacturing high quality patches in such small quantities. Overall this was not very profitable and they stopped working for NASA after Apollo 12.

Tiger Embroidery Inc.
Philippines
Not really an official manufacturer, the term 'tiger embroidery' is used to refer to a source of patches that have been hand produced in the Philippines since at least the mid 1980s as traced copies of real patches. These cloth-backed one-off patches are often mistaken for rare vintage originals when in fact they are modern fakes.
They can be most-readily identified by the uneven execution of lettering, which is often crooked, with the individual letters and lines varying in size and thickness. This is in contrast to the even machine-generated fonts produced by genuine manufacturing runs.
Universal Commemorative
Los Angeles, CA
Manufacturer of versions of the Apollo 11 and 12 patches, and likely an Apollo 1 patch too. They may have produced the Apollo 10 recovery crew patch, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Voyager Emblems Inc.
Niagara Falls, NY
The only space patch they are known to have manufactured is a striking Apollo 11 mission patch, which was apparently produced in a run of 300 examples as a private order.
Wagner, Randy
The late Randy Wagner produced replicas of many of the rarest space patches from the 1980s onwards, marketed under the name Eagle One Aerospace. After his death, his wife Mary continued to sell these patches for some time under the name Cargo Bay Emblems.
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