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03-3-2023 18:55:58  #11

Re: Odd Badge - Olivetti Underwood

I have some information regarding the manufacturer of the Capital Studio 44 Olivetti Underwood badge.

The ID tags included in this post were made by MetalCraft of Mason City, Iowa, and are from the estate of Fred T. Fenchel (1922-2018), a longtime advertising manager for the company.

MetalCraft manufactured custom metal badges of all types as well as novelty items. Many of these were used for asset inventory control and branding products.

The older tags made by this company tend to have a gritty surface on the back similar to a very light sandpaper. These would likely have been adhered to a item using a industrial strength glue, with the gritty surface aiding the glue. I've included an example of a Adhesive Activating Solvent tin sold by MetalCraft.

Some of the older tags have industrial strength strips of double-sided tape applied to the back; however, this tends to be rather thick compared to the consumer level double sided tape. The badge would protrude enough from the surface it was applied to whereas you could easily get your fingernail underneath an edge. If the bottom edge of the badge is very flush to the surface its applied to it was likely adhered using a glue as this would be much thinner.

I've also included pictures of some business cards for Fred as well as some other typewriter dealer badge samples.


Fred was born on August 4 in Strawberry Point, IA to Fred and Gertrude (Pilgrim) Fenchel. He was a five year World War II veteran and served with the United States Navy, the 14th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, the 32nd Replacement Battalion and the 2nd Marine Division Medical Corps.

In 1952 he married Ila Mae Klink at the Peace Evangelical and Reform Church of Elkader, IA. Following his military service he began a 10 year career as a sales promotional manager for the The Quaker Oats Company of Cedar Rapids. In 1959 he moved to Mason City where began a long association with Metalcraft.

Fred and his wife Ila Mae also operated the Fred T. Fenchel Entertainment Agency for over four decades following its 1960 founding. This talent agency initially booked entertainment in the Mason City, Iowa, area but soon spread to the rest of the state. The Iowa RockNRoll Music Association placed Fred in its Hall of Fame in 2004 for his contributions to Iowa musicians.


I am currently (3-3-23) offering the Studio 44 badge and the five typewriter dealer badges in a online auction; however, I will not mention the name of the site as I am not sure if that is allowed here.


04-3-2023 12:31:40  #12

Re: Odd Badge - Olivetti Underwood

Thanks for the in-depth information, anthology!

Feel free to post the tags in the Buy&Sell section. Did you purchase these items from his estate, or if I may ask, how did you obtain all of this detailed information?

The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

04-3-2023 21:37:48  #13

Re: Odd Badge - Olivetti Underwood

A local auctioneer sold a bunch of his items a few years ago.

These included items from the various places he worked, his talent agency and even some retro dime store toys as he was also a Shriners clown who handed out toys to kids.

Typically such information can be obtained by searching from a newspaper obituary, Find-A-Grave, newspaper archives, various county history web sites and so forth.

I currently have the tags running in a auction on a big auction site (hint: it was in the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin).

I thank all the members who added information to this post as I hadn't any idea what this badge might pertain before seeing this forum.


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