|Insignia||This Page Updated November 14, 2001|
Bob Bullers and Bill Gawchik have consulted on, and collected Kiddie Wings for many years. They were co-authors of this article, and had hoped to do many others. This was completed shortly before Bob suffered his stroke.
My Name is William Gawchik. Bob Bullers (co-author for this section) and I have been collecting airline items since the early 80's. Between us we have over 40 years of collecting knowledge. We hope this web site and our section will become a location that the new, novice and experienced collectors will find useful. We will attempt to provide information about new discoveries, new issues, and new varieties of "Kiddie Wings and Other Things"
Since the first commercial airline flight, airline companies have developed a variety of ways to expose their name and image to the public. Airline companies soon learned to target children as part of their advertising campaigns. Airlines would often provide the children with one or more of the following items;
Junior pilot / stewardess wings have been manufactured and issued since the 30's. Currently there are over 900+ known Jr. wings (including varieties). Wings have been, and are still made from cast metal, stamped tin, plastic, cloth, paper and vinyl. The methods used to attach them to the child are as varied as the construction materials. Types used are: pin back, "c" clasp, safety pin, push pin, button back, adhesive patch, and sticker.
Many junior items have been issued by airlines as part of activity packs but this is by no means the only method of issue. In the 40's, 50's and 60's it was not unusual for an airline to license their trade mark to a toy company. Some of the rarest kiddie wings were issued as part of toy sets or sold at airport gift shops. (You can still find airline logoed items at some airport gift shops)
Many new collectors often assume that wings made from metal are scarcer than those made of plastic, paper or vinyl. This is just not true and is a dangerous assumption to make. Some of the scarcest wings have been manufactured out of plastic, paper and vinyl. Many airlines today are switching from the use of plastic wings (with adhesive backing) to a puffy vinyl coated foam wing. This puffy style wing has a similar peel off back which (when removed) allows the wing to adhere to the child's clothing. THESE WINGS ARE DESIGNED TO BE USED ONLY ONE TIME. Once the wing is removed it will often be destroyed in the process.
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We hope that you can and will offer suggestions for future articles and we hope that you will bookmark this Web Page and check back often. HAPPY HUNTING!
This category will cover items such as wings, hat badges, patches, buttons, service pins, hats, uniforms, and any other items which may have been worn by airline personnel.