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May 16, 2012

Vintage Associated Press Badges and Press Passes From 1938-1941

By RetroRuth

If you’ve seen my recent posts lately, you know that Tom and I were in Wisconsin visiting some sites and yammering on the radio about food.  (By the by, for those who haven’t heard me on the radio yet and still want to, go to Joy Cardin’s show archive here and type “nopatternrequired” into the search box.) But we also had some serious business while we were there.

A few years ago my parent’s home on the Rock River in Wisconsin was flooded pretty badly.  It was sad for a lot of reasons, the damage to their home and property was pretty bad, but the worst part was all of the mementoes and photographs from my Dad’s family that were lost.

Press Badge World Series 1940001

My Grandpa Art worked for the Associated Press in the darkroom and as a photographer. He had an enormous collection of famous photographs and memorabilia from Chicago from 1938 to about 1960 when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and had to stop working. Many, many boxes of his things were destroyed in the flood. It was very hard for my parents to deal with the ruined boxes, so Tom and I helped my parents sort through what was left during our visit. There wasn’t much that was salvageable, but we did manage to find some gems that had been spared.

Press Badge AZ v Notre Dame 1941001

Buried in a mud-covered box I found a cigar box filled with Associated Press badges and press passes. My dad said at one time Grandpa had a ton of these. I was just happy to save what we found. I have started dusting them off and scanning them, and while I was doing it I realized these were too cool to keep to myself. So, I am going to share with you guys! There are more coming, but here is the first set. It includes college football games, Arthur A. Starnes’ Scientific Parachute Jump, World Series’ Passes from 1938 and 1940, and the Golden Gloves Olympic Trials. Enjoy!

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8 Responses to Vintage Associated Press Badges and Press Passes From 1938-1941

  1. Uncle Atom Reply

    May 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Wow, these are too cool! Glad you found them and thanks for sharing. So sorry that much of what was stored wasn’t salvageable. About two moves ago I started replacing cardboard boxes with large tubs with lids that would hold up in attic or basement storage. We’ve had minor basement flooding a couple of times, and I was really glad I had things in those containers.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      May 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Uncle Atom. Thankfully, some stuff was in tubs, but only the stuff in tubs that wasn’t completely submerged in water made it. Once the water got over the lid of the tubs they filled up. Those were especially bad, even worse that the stuff that was just in carboard boxes.


  2. Andrea Reply

    May 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Those are so cool! It’s so fortunate that some were salvageable.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      May 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

      I agree, Andrea! My Dad was so heartsick over it all, I was glad we could at least salvage a little bit.

  3. Laura Reply

    May 17, 2012 at 2:25 am

    I know some sports photographers who would be fascinated by these! Such a real treasure. I’m glad you found them and could salvage them. I’m so sorry about the flooding. It can be so upsetting to have to say goodbye to family belongings in that way. It also sounds like your grandfather had a long and productive career with Associated Press. He must have had wonderful stories to tell! Also, I wonder if you shouldn’t contact Sports Illustrated about them. This just looks exactly like something they might be interested in for a short feature. I’d contact John Blackmar, the SI photo director, if you’re interested.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      May 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for the great idea, Laura!

      My dad tells some great stories about my grandpa. Unfortunately, he died long before I was born. But he did do some fabulous work while he was with the AP!

  4. Sara In AZ Reply

    May 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    These are really amazing Ruth, I am so glad you were able to save at least some of them!

  5. Pingback: More Vintage Sports Press Badges and Press Passes – 1940 Major League All-Star Game and More! | No Pattern Required

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