Volume 33, Issue 1                                                  The TMCA News                                          Page 3

N.S. Meyer Inc. of New York since 1868 had been a long time supplier of Military Insignia to several countries, mainly of course the United States. Some of the most popular items for collectors have been their World War Two Army Air Corps wings.  During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s N.S. Meyer reopened production of obsolete WW2 wings, such as the Technical Observer Wing (TO) pictured here. Many of these wings were made from original dies and in sterling silver. The concept was to fill the demand of aging WW2 veterans who had lost their original wings over time and wanted replacements. Many of these wings unfortunately, were quickly bought by individuals who in time, easily aged them and passed them of as original WW2 issue, all this of coarse, for a fast profit. The result today is that many of these wings have worked their way into the collector market. How do you tell the fakes? Well there are many ways, depending on the type of wing.  Since I do not have the space or expertise to cover all of them, I will cover the most common and easiest to spot...the PIN.

WW2 and Korean War, Meyer wings had a “Stop Pin”. The pin was designed with a notch that would only allow it to open up to about 80 degrees, or about half way. This made it easier for the wearer to pin it on his shirt. The copies made in the 1980’s and 1990’s by Meyer pretty much all had a pin that would flop all the way over. Now keep in mind that we are only talking about N.S. Meyer Inc of New York, who was probably the largest supplier during WW2 and the most popular wing encountered by the collector. Many other companies made WW2 wings, and some had pins that stopped while others folded all they way back.

Easy enough you say, ...well not so fast, unscrupulous individuals will still buy a more common, less valuable wing, such as the original Air Crew  wing pictured here. They will then swap the pin to the rarer and much more valuable wing such as a Technical Observer “T/O”, Glider Pilot or Engineer wing, thus making it appear more authentic. Believe me; they will still realize a handsome profit even though they are destroying an original to enhance a fake. The increase in profit is worth it to them. As I say, there are many other ways to tell, this is just one of the easiest to spot on a N.S. Meyer wing.

Real

or

Fake

N.S. Meyer Inc.

 New York

In 1997, the Federal government filed charges against N.S. Meyer Inc., then a chief supplier to AAFES and the DOD, for price fixing.

Beginning at least as early as 1992, N.S. Meyer entered into and participated to suppress and eliminate competition in unreasonable restraint of interstate and foreign trade and commerce. This resulted in price fixing on military insignia supplied to AAFES under the 1993 open orders contract.

In 2000, Vanguard, another well known supplier, bought out Meyer.

N.S. Meyer Inc.    1868-2000