This fake example is one of a large number of official looking brass badges that one might encounter at flea markets or online. It is easy to apply the false look of age to brass with chemicals, which probably explains why so many varied types of modern reproductions, fakes and fantasy items seem to made of this metal.
Official looking items like this badge that are purposefully made to look old, yet not permanently marked in a way that would assist the collector in easily knowing otherwise, can be viewed as nothing more than a disreputable attempt to 'cash in' on an apparent association with law enforcement and/or with railroad history that never existed. The only way such items could be said to have an honest connection to law enforcement might be if someone selling them were convicted of fraud for representing the badges to be genuine old artifacts to buyers. This item was not made for the "Rock Island" Railroad. It is not any type of Police badge, either, despite the words stamped on its front.
Images of the this and many other spurious brass badge examples can be viewed in the Fakes & Repros section of the Railroadiana Online collector's reference site, a link to which may be found on the Favorite Links page in this shop.
Measures approximately 2 3/4 inches long by 2 inches wide.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.