B N B Badges Patches Miniatures and More

What is it, who is it, and where did they go?

BNB had it's roots in Bellflower, California where I had my police equipment store at 9889 Alondra Boulevard in about 1979. My old friend and co-author of Badges a Guide for the serious collector, Bill Hedges brought El Mirage, Arizona Police officer and badge collector Harry Blazer to visit. We hit it off right away. Harry loved cops and Freemasons. As a Deputy Coroner and Junior Warden of Bellflower lodge, I qualified on both counts. Like all collectors, we corresponded, bought sold and traded with one another.

On one of many visits to the Phoenix area Harry insisted that I accompany him to the Ak-Chin reservation just South of Phoenix to be deputized an injun cop. Along the way, I saw a sign with the Ak-Chin tribal seal and the wheels began to turn. I asked Harry how the chief would like all new custom badges with the tribal seal. They were using the Arizona state seal at the time. Blazer asked how, and I suggested we pay for the die charge, take his old badges on a straight across trade and sell both the old and new badges to collectors. The chief bought it, and we had the first BNB badge made through Sun Badge, although the BNB hallmark was yet to be born. The same proposal was made to departments around Phoenix and BNB began to grow. Soon a Phoenix employee with some artistic talent joined the group, and thus was the third letter added.

The first badge to ever bear the BNB hallmark was made by V&V Manufacturing, and the letters were engraved on the back in script, but not BNB, but B. B. & N. The N part of the group was dissatisfied being at the end, so it changed to B.N.B. There are probably less than a dozen badges with the script BNB hallmark and even fewer with B.B.&N. The later hallmark was featured BNB within an Arizona state shape. April manufacturing was also used, and their products may be identified by the use of a larger hallmark.

From about 1980 to 1990 literally thousands of badges were produced by BNB. Most were in Arizona, but many were in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and other states. The arrangement was perfect. One of us was great at design work, another the perfect salesman, and the products were sourced by The Baird Company.

By 1990, Blazer and the artist discovered that they could source the products themselves, and cut out The Baird Company, then began to operate and hallmark their products TCI for Two Cops Insignia. I wasn't involved, but the rumor mill tells me that the two partners split and TCI was ran exclusively by Blazer and his wife. Blazer died, and for all intents and purposes, that was the end of TCI. I've heard that Blazer's widow is still operating a small business, but have no confirmation.