Obverse Design Badge is in the shape of a Maltese cross, with points on the right, left and bottom arms. On top of the upper arm of the Maltese cross is the upper half of an eagle with spread wings. The head of the eagle is tucked down and facing to our left. The center has an unusual, vaguely oval shape. The background is smooth, and says "CANAL" and "ZONE" in two lines. This center has a smooth raised rim. On the cross arm to our left is the letter "F" and a crossed hook and ladder. On the cross arm to our right is the letter "D" and a fire hydrant. On the upper cross arm under the eagle is a banner which says "FIRE". On the lower cross arm is a banner which says "INSPECTOR". Under the banner is a smooth area, perhaps where a badge number could have been placed. The cross arms have a textured background.
Reverse Design Screw pin in the center.
Metal Probably brass, gold-filled with 10K gold. Size and Shape 38 mm wide by 37 mm high (about 1 1/2 inches by 1 7/16 inches).
Dates Issued This badge type was 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 Not numbered.
Rarity Rare. Manufacturer Probably C.G. Bramar Company of New York. Source 'hp2xsg' sale on ebay.

There are two very similar gold-colored (SUpervisor) varieties. Badge BG-71.4 is shorter and has "CANAL" and "ZONE" in two lines across the center oval section. The other badge, BG-67.2, is about 3mm taller and has the location "CANAL ZONE" in one line curving along the top of the center oval section.

There is also a very similar non-Supervisor Fire Inspector hat badge. It is silver in color instead of gold.


Fire Department Fire Inspector Supervisor hat badge. Fire Inspectors were higher on the pay scale than regular fire fighters. However, when it came to a fighting a fire they were not in the line of command. The Fire Inspector Supervisor was the officer to which the Fire Inspectors reported. 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. 'garyurban@aol.com' Specimen - Sold on ebay by 'hp2xsg' to 'garyurban@aol.com' (February 24, 2003, $76).

Reverse Side of Badge
Reverse side of a BG-71.4
Scale: 4 pixels equals one millimeter