The Austrian Patch Collector Page or German Badges!
Vintage and antique patches from Austria and Germany
Souvenir Patches from all over Austria - here at dirndl-dress at bargain prices!! Look at the image to the left and see what great effect you can make with a few patches purchased for little money plus a simple sweater! The image to the left is from the Gorsuch catalogue, where the sweater sells for $380 with a few patches)
The History of Souvenir Badge Collecting
Patches (or badges, as the Britains say) of one sort or another have been collected since ancient times. Greek and Roman pilgrims frequently collected miniature images of gods or their emblems, and Christian pilgrims later did the same. Usually medieval Christian pilgrim badges were made of metal with a pin - most famously the shell symbol showing the wearer had been at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. These were stuck in hats or into clothing and hard working pilgrims could assemble quite a collection!
In the 19th century as travelling for ordinary people increased the souvenir industry started, as these new secular pilgrims - like their medieval counterparts - wanted to bring back reminders of their holidays/vacations and sightseeing, ranging from china plates to postcards.
The production of stick-on souvenir patches started in Europe - mainly in Germany and Austria during the early 20's century, when hiking became popular, and people began sewing badges of resort towns onto their backpacks and jackets. In the U.S., the development of the National park system and the growing popularity of vacationing saw a similar development of patch collecting.
After the Second World War, American GIs in Germany sent badges back to their loved ones, showing where they came around. These patches became known as 'sweetheart patches'.
Souvenir patches are often beautifully designed and deserve to be seen as miniature works of art. They are a good way of showing off places visited or places of the family origin if worn on clothing, or stored in albums they can bring back happy memories of holidays and vacations.
See our collection of hatpins here!
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