THE ROBBINS COMPANY DIES SALVAGED
Heath White collects and researches stamping dies, and he recently acquired dies used by The Robbins Company to strike a wide variety of items. Here's his report.
The company commonly known as The Robbins Company (they changed ownership and names in recent years) ceased operations at their Attleboro, MA manufacturing facility in early 2022. I'm not aware of any notice of this in any publications and thought some of the readers of The E-Sylum may be interested in knowing. Many of the items manufactured by Robbins since their founding in 1892 are sought after by collectors in many areas of collectables ranging from police/fire badges, military insignia, radio premiums, aviation wings, Masonic pennies, and the 1926 World Series rings to name a few. Official medals for NASA starting with Apollo 7, all official medals and badges for the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, military medals from the Distinguished Service Cross down are a few examples of the many notable items produced by Robbins.
The overwhelming majority of the stamping dies used by Robbins were salvaged and I was fortunate to be able to acquire four semi-truck loads of dies. Also important is the fact that many of the company record books survived which document the provenance and other important details about the dies. I was able to digitize over 70 die ledger books which totaled several thousand pages. These document when a die was manufactured, a description of the design, who the customer was and sometimes other details like the cost of the dies. Information on production quantities, finishes applied, and price of items sold are not available.
Above and below are images of the top and side of the die used to make official badges for the IOC members at the 1932 Winter Olympics. There were only 252 athletes from 14 nations that competed in 17 events so the quantity of badges made would be a fraction of what is required for more recent Olympics. I have seen examples of the 'CONTESTANT' badges come up for sale, but have not found examples of the IOC or OFFICIAL badges. Note, the side of the die shows the Robbins die serial number was F5343 and the date the die was manufactured, November 1931. The entry from Robbins ledger books for these dies is also shown below.
Heath welcomes inquiries from readers. His address is
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
FRATERNAL SUPPLIES STAMPING DIE COLLECTION
MORE ON INSERT DIES
Wayne Homren, Editor
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