Obverse Design Badge is in the shape of a Maltese cross with small arms. The center is round with a smooth raised edge, and the outside of the badge has a smooth raised edge as well. In the center is "98" (the badge number). The top arm of the cross has a curved smooth banner with the legend "CANAL ZONE". The left arm (as you look at the badge) has a hydrant from the early 1900's. The right arm has a hook and a ladder. The lower arm has another curved smooth bannner which reads "FIRE DEPT." The entire badge has a textured background.
Reverse Design Vertical pin back.
Metal Unknown. Silver in color. Probably brass plated with nickel. Size and Shape 38 mm by 38 mm (about 1½ inches by 1½ inches).
Dates Issued This vest badge and the matching hat badge BG-70.2 were used from sometime before 1956 until September 30, 1979. On that date the Fire Department was transitioned to the Canal Commission. The Fire Department remained in one form or another and is still there protecting the locks.
Issurer Panama Canal Company.
Numbers Issued Pieces known include #96 and #98.
Rarity Rare. Manufacturer Unknown; perhaps C.G. Bramar Company of New York. Source King Collection.
Varieties None known.
Function

Fire Department vest badge. I would appreciate e-mail from anyone who can add anything to the history of these badges.

Population Count Known specimens are as follows:
  1. Badge #96 - Offered for sale on ebay by 'jgoughi1@tampabay.rr.com' in an auction ending on June 22, 2003. Reserve was not met. Highest bid was $51.10.
  2. Badge #98 - David A. King Collection.