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Object of the Fortnight - Triumph Tank Badge

07 December 2011

This recent donation of a Triumph tank badge to the museum by Mr. Pugh in October 2011, left some of the museum staff with a bit of a mystery on their hands.

The donor acquired the object when he worked in the maintenance department at Prym Newey (Tipton). When the company took over some small factories, the contents of these factories were brought to the Tipton site with much of the material destined for the skip.

This tank badge, however, which came from a company in Walsall that also made items such as horse brasses and belt buckles, was salvaged by the donor. Little information was initially known about the use of this interesting object until some investigative work together with the knowledge of a member of our workshop staff uncovered its purpose.

It is believed that this Triumph tank badge was a mould for a process called Vacuum-forming. Through this process one could create a casting by putting a sheet of heated plastic over the top of the mould. Holes along the outside of the form would then allow it to be vacuumed tight around the mould thus creating the desired shape. It is thought that the finished product would have been painted and back-lit. It would have been used for promotional advertising rather than as an actual tank badge on a Triumph motorbike.

This object is currently held in Coventry Transport Museum’s Archive & Small Objects Collection Store.


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