I frequently see these kinds of pins go for sale,

Bell Labs Star Pins

Both of the two pins in the picture read "Bell Telephone Laboratories 1875". One of the pins has two stars, the other three.

What did it mean to have two-stars, three-stars, or four-stars on your lapel pin? Were these given to engineers, or sales people?

  • 3
    One star per 5 years of service inside the company. The year 1875 commemorates Bell's successful phone experiments, it's part of the motif.
    – Janka
    Jul 10, 2019 at 0:16
  • @Janka that's exactly what I'm looking for, if you want to make it an answer (and especially if you have a citation or have a source). Jul 10, 2019 at 0:22
  • Nothing but hearsay.
    – Janka
    Jul 10, 2019 at 0:22
  • 3
    Why do you reckon this is off-topic? We've had another badge identification question that went down quite well.
    – wizzwizz4
    Jul 10, 2019 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


Thanks to the lead by "Janka" in the comments, these are merely five year service pins,

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From Bell Laboratories "Record" (their magazine) 1944 August,

Charles G. Spencer of the Switching Development Department, with the longest service record of any present member of the Laboratories, receives his 45 year pin from Dr. Buckley.

Dr. Oliver E. Buckley was the chairman of the board of the Bell Telephone Laboratories. This seems to be part of a long standing tradition at Bell Labs to commemorate employment anniversaries in lustrums.

listing of employment anniversaries from "Record"

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