In January 1976 it was discovered that an individual made fakes of some of the rarest OA and Jamborees patches. It was announced with little fanfare in the third column beneath Seasons Greetings and get your survey questionnaire returned, in The Trader.

Fifty one years later the incident is known by only a few. There is no resource on the web to identify the fakes. Many of the 5000 fakes are probably in collections, believed by the owners to be authentic. All of the principal players are deceased. It’s time to tell the story.

This is a corrected listing of the Bates Fakes 1-1935, 3-1937 patches and 1-1953 Jamboree backpatch. Flaps from 28, 55. 59, 73, 115, 154,177,193, 205, 306, 331, 365, 446, 447,454, 476, 526, 539, 555 & 556. 314X and 388A.

I was able to compare most First Flaps from my personal collection. Kurt Hansen, Frank Kern, Dave Pede, Johnnie Pleasants, and Roy Wetherbee provided images of others. Others offered images of what they thought were real patches, but they proved to be fakes. Jeff Jones was a help in encouraging me and Chris Jensen lent some incredible paper documents that he received as part of the Leubitz collection.

At the end I provide additional information about the personalities involved with a bit of information on how patches were made in the mid-1970’s. I hope to expand the project to include other well known fakes. Roy More has agreed to share some images from his collection and I’d welcome help from others.

Common Characteristic's of the Bates Fakes

I repeat myself numerous times about what great care was taken to get these fakes to appear as genuine. I believe the fake punch patterns were developed from the original patches and most of the fakes are excellent. However there are couple of tell-tale clues to watch for.

The backs are often the easiest way to identify the fakes. Many fakes don’t have a white backstitch.
Bates Fake Boy Scout Patches
Bates Fake Boy Scout Patches* The Princess reinforces my opinion that some companies or perhaps individual embroidery machines had white backstitching while others didn’t. The manufacturer that made the real Brave issue had white backstitch while who ever made the Princess issue did not. BUT be careful when generalizing because not all Bakes Fakes lack the white backstitching, again it might be a characteristic of a specific machine.
border trail on bates fakeborder trail on bakes fake boy scout patches


One common trait that most Bates fakes rolled edge flaps have is what I’ve called a border tail. It’s the final piece of the rolled edge border that hasn’t been trimmed away. You can find these all over the patches depending on where the machine operator started and stop applying the border. This might be a characteristic of the LeBeau Embroidery rolled edge machines. Most authentic patches made by other manufacturer's don’t seem to have this “tail”. Although it’s possible they could be trimmed off.


On non fully embroidered patches there is often a difference in the background twill. Generally speaking the Bates fakes have no twill or lighter twill direction than authentic issues. This isn’t always the case, but when in doubt check out the background cloth.
identifying bates fake boy scout patches
As you compare the fakes to the authentic lodge issued patches you may marvel at how very close the detailing is. Special effort was made to make the fakes as close as possible to the authentic issues. Its my suspicion that authentic patches were used to design the fake punch patterns.
identifying bates fake boy scout patches
Fake- the black lines in the feathers are not centered. Real-lines in center of the feather.
314 Fake is one of the best fakes, great care must have been taken to get the details correct.
identifying bates fake boy scout patches
identifying bates fake boy scout patches. 
identifying bates fakes

Fake is light green, real is dark green. Fake-heavy twill right. Real-twill hardly noticeable. Fake-New London down from red inner border. Real-lettering touches red border.Fake-388 is large. Real-388 is small. Fake-feather doesn’t touch red outline. Real-feather touches red outline. Great care was taken to make the fake. Thanks Roy Wetherbee.

The A1 issue is similar, dark green lettering but the red feather is completely embroidered.
 
Fake-light green lettering & smaller arrow across the yellow moon. Fake-8 too close to the g in lodge.
 Fake-W’s bigger and to the left and right of red outline. White back stitch on real issue.
Authentic Halfmoon Lodge
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Paul Myers Goshen, Indiana
gimogash@comcast.net