Digest>Archives> October 1995

Who Can Solve the Badge Mystery?


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We recently purchased the two badges shown here ...

We recently purchased the two badges shown here from an antique badge collector. Although a tiny bit larger, the badges are shown in nearly their actual size. Only once before have we seen this type of badge at an auction, where we were out-bid by a private collector.

The problem is, we don't know anything about the history behind these badges. We know that the watchman at the Lighthouse Depots wore a badge, but just who were the Lighthouse Service Police?

On the left badge, the letters LHS and POLICE are stamped into the badge, and the letters U.S. are raised, as is the lighthouse symbol, and they appear to have been affixed in some manner. On the badge to the right, the letters LHS and POLICE are stamped into the badge, as on the other badge, and the letters U.S. are raised and affixed permanently.

Since the United States Lighthouse Service operated as a form of military organization, it would have made sense that the Lighthouse Service had some type of police force. After all, the Army has MP's (Military Police), and OSI (Office of Special Investigation), and the Navy has SP's (Shore Patrol), and the Postal Service has Postal Inspectors.

Somebody would have had to investigate crimes against the Lighthouse Service or theft at Lighthouse Depots or at the lighthouses themselves.

We have never claimed that we were the experts. We simply report on stories and do in-depth research on lighthouses and tell our readers what we find out. Many of the readers of Lighthouse Digest have a lot of knowledge on the history of lighthouses and have been collecting and researching information for many more years than we have. Hopefully, one of our Sherlocks out there can supply us with the answer to the story behind these badges. Please contact us at, Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.

This story appeared in the October 1995 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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