Graphic Art - Not an Actual Scanned Image

Obverse Design Badge is in the shape of a Maltese cross. The center is round with a rope edge. The outside of the badge has a smooth raised edge. In the center is "10" (the badge number). The top arm of the cross has a curved smooth banner with the location name of "BALBOA". 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 "C.Z.V.F.D" for Canal Zone Volunteer Fire Department. The entire badge has a textured background.
Reverse Design Probably a vertical pin back.
Metal Unknown. Silver in color. Probably nickel plated brass. Size and Shape About 44mm wide by 44mm high (1 3/4 inches by 1 3/4 inches).
Dates Issued Unknown. This series is tentatively identified as a construction era type of Canal Zone Fire Department badges. The volunteer fire departments were organized starting in December, 1905. The name "Balboa" was not used until 1909, but this badge is in the same style as the "La Boca" badge (which was the previous town name). So this badge probably dates from the middle to late construction period between 1909 and 1914. This is probably the third type issued of the three similar varieties.
Issurer Probably the Isthmian Canal Commission. Balboa was the largest city in the Canal Zone and is located across the canal from Panama City. The name was changed from "La Boca" (meaning River Mouth) to Balboa in 1909 in honor of the discoverer of the Pacific Ocean.
Numbers Issued Pieces known include #10.
Rarity Rare. Manufacturer Unknown. Source Rulau's CZ-7 (Slawsky June 25, 1997 sale, lot 961).
Varieties There are three similar varieties. The first type has a place name at the top, "V.F.D." at the bottom and never mentions the Canal Zone. The second type is identical except that "CANAL ZONE PANAMA" has been added in small incuse letters on the field around the badge number. The third type has "C.Z.V.F.D." at the bottom to identify the Canal Zone, and does not have the small "CANAL ZONE PANAMA" legend.

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 #10 - Shown in Rulau's catalog. It was lot 961 in Slawsky's June 25, 1997 sale.

Balboa Fire Station July 4th, 1916
Balboa Fire Station July 4th, 1916
From the Canal Zone Review, Bicentennial Edition 1976