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Badges

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Enamel Badges in some form have been worn for hundreds of years. The earliest known or recorded badges are from the 12th Century when the Pope allowed Pewter Badges to be made with pictures of St Peter and St Paul on. Pilgrims would buy them as a sign of their devotion and also to demonstrate their faith and devotion. Returning from a pilgrimage with a badge provided a form of proof that the pilgrimage had been made. During the 14th century pilgrimages were very popular and there is evidence that badges were popular souvenirs. Some of the first buttons to appear in the UK were produced to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. The badges were cheap to buy and made popular souvenirs of what was a huge occasion in Britain at the time. The New Jersey company of Whitehead & Hoag were one of the biggest manufacturers of one inch circular button badges during the first half of the twentieth century and they were responsible for the production of the Boer War badges that arrived in Britain at the turn of the twentieth century. With messages like "Only One Order - Forward!" and "England Expects Every Man To Do His Duty", they proved very popular in a country gripped by the wave of patriotism that accompanied the war. Modern day button badges are now available with a plastic safety fitting on the back.

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