RAA SA Badges
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The first car badge issued by the
Automobile Club of South Australia in 1909 was a crudely cast, flat brass badge
with the initials ACSA fretted out. According to the official RAA history of its
badges, only 50 car and 12 motor cycle badges were purchased and not all of
these were actually issued. It is believed that probably only three
car and no motor cycle examples survive. When the club celebrated 75 years in
1978 a limited edition replica of the car badge was made and issued to
members who introduced two new members to the club. Apparently 544 of these were
issued and my badge is No. 164. Type 1 - replica in "World of Car Badges".
Coinciding with a name change to The
Automobile Association of South Australia Inc., a new design of car badge was
issued in 1911. Two separate versions of this badge are known, one measuring
108mm in diameter and the later one 105mm. The earlier badge is also slighly
thicker. Both versions were nominally 4 inches wide and are represented in my
collection by badges No. 1047 and No. 1962. This style of badge remained on
issue until 1923. Type 2. It is possible that the two versions came from
different manufacturers as this design was used for about 12 years.
Type 2 108mm diameter badge
Type 2 105mm diameter badge
In 1923 the badge had to be
redesigned because of legal difficulties in copyrighting the 1911 badge.
The new badge was available in both bronze and aluminium versions. My collection
includes examples of both types. The bronze badge is No.18530 and was
issued to F.W.G. Clarke in March 1928, not long before the Automobile
Association of South Australia gained Royal Patronage on 29th September
1928. My aluminium version is No. 15575. Type 3.
Type 3 Bronze version
Type 3 Aluminium version
Following the granting of Royal
Patronage the club changed its name to the Royal Automobile Association of South
Australia Inc., and in 1929 issued a completely new style of car badge
which was to remain basically unchanged for 30 years. The first issue, shown
here, measured 94mm diameter and came with a yellow backing plate stapled to the
fretted out letters of the badge. Presumable yellow was chosen because it
was the colour used by the AA in UK. The backing plates and method of
fixing were rather fragile and it is difficult to find a badge from this
era with the plate attached and in good condition. My example, No R3675, is in
almost mint condition. Type 4.
Concurrent with the issue of Type 4 a
smaller badge was available for use on motor cycles and light cars. This
measured 68mm in diameter and used the prefix "S". My example is No. S6069. Type
Later car badges of the Type 4
design were slightly smaller at 88mm diameter. My example is No. R22226. A
further example is shown at the foot of the page attached to a late 1920s South
Australian licence plate (the plate pre-dates the badge, which is No. R22729).
In 1950 the RAA ceased issuing numbered car badges and introduced a smaller
version of the 1929 style, which was not fretted out but pressed from sheet
brass. The background to the letters AASA was coloured yellow directly on to the
badge, at first in enamel then in paint. Type 7B.
A second version of Type 7 had a knurled outer edge to the
badge. The official RAA history of its badges states there is uncertainty
about which variant was issued first. Most collectors believe the knurled
version was introduced later, possibly in 1955. Type 8.
This badge was issued from 1955 to 1959 and my example has the member's
name, R.E. Hann and his membership number, 134889, engraved on the reverse side.
More badges still to
Text and photographs on this page are
More information on the history of RAA badges may be found at www.raa.com.au/download.asp?file=documents\document_2228.pdf