American Railway Express/Railway Express Agency Badges
Express badge: pre-1929
American Railway Express badge: pre-1929
This one has an extremely LOW employee number, so is probably from the early 1920s or perhaps earlier. It has the clasp and hook arrangement on the back, similar to scan #6 below.
The Railway Express Agency was formed in 1929 by, I believe, the merging of the American Railway Express, the American Express and the Adams Express. There were eventually three (3) style REA badges in use that I know of (I’ve seen three (3) styles of backs as well):
This badge is representative of the first REA badge issued in 1929. The words “Railway” and “Agency” are in black with the word “Express” in white. It was in use one year only.
A fine example of the 1929 badge, with one of the lowest ID numbers I’ve ever seen on a REA badge. They must have had quite a few employees that first year, either new or transferring from Am. Ry. Exp., because I’ve seen a 1929-style badge on e-bay with an employee number in excess of 20,000 and the clasp style of scan #6 below!!
Clasp arrangement on the 1929-era badge #1984:
In 1930, the lettering was changed to all white as is evident on this badge below:
Quite a high employee number on this sample.
The clasp-back had been modified sometime still in 1929. This is the back
of the employee #20,000+ 1929-style badge. Same style clasp appeared on all later badges until the threaded screw-post type appeared on the scene:
In either the late 1950s or early 1960s, the logo changed and this style badge was
issued with the threaded post on the back and was in use until their demise from handling railroad express in the mid-late 1960s:
You can see by now that the employee numbering is up to almost
81,000! Some payroll!!!!
Research/Archive: Dave Keller March, 2007