|The round brass or bronze
badge was issued to officers of the Fish Commission who served as Special Fish Wardens
(currently known as Deputy Waterways Conservation Officers). These round brass/bronze badges are
not that uncommon, as the Fish Commission once had much less stringent requirements for persons
who wished to serve as Special Fish Wardens, and I have heard stories of some counties in the
state having literally dozens of persons serving as Special Fish Wardens back in the 1940's and
The number on the back is the badge number, just as a modern police officer's badge, and
current Fish and Boat Commission badges, display a badge number, usually on the front.
The badge you have was actually used much more recently than most people would believe. These
badges were in use until the 1960's, when a transition to a modern, shield style silver badge
took place. Based on the number of these badges in circulation, I believe that officers were
allowed to keep their old badge when they were issued the new shield style badge.
You will also find some of these round brass badges that are stamped "Pennsylvania Fish
Commission" instead of "Board of Fish Commissioners," and you will sometimes find them with a
chrome or nickel plated finish. You will also find some round metal badges from the 1930's and
early 40's that have a removable paper center. The paper center will display the specific year
it was valid for, along with a badge number.
Collectors will usually pay about $50 to $60 for one of the round brass badges.
-- Ray Bednarchik, Manager, Southeast Region