1905 SERIES – CHICAGO POLICE STAR DESIGN

Checkerboard Band

Below is a complete pictorial presentation of the 1905 Series Chicago Police Department Star. All images shown are of actual Department issued stars of every rank that existed in the 1905 series.

On May 21, 1904, Department Secretary Si Mayer began soliciting bids for the manufacture of a new star in which the members of the department would be supplied. The bid was for nearly 3000 badges made of German Silver with copper numbers riveted on. The 1905 series badge was initially manufactured by S.D. Childs & Co. beginning in 1905. It is not clear when the transition was made to C.H. Hanson Co., however the badge was made by C.H. Hanson Co. until its decommissioning in 1955. Both hallmarks were stamped and not raised or engraved on the reverse side of the badge and it is not uncommon to find some without a hallmark. If a star of this design is found to have a V.H. Blackington hallmark it is either a reproduction made by V.H. Blackington or a counterfeit.

Artist Rendering of the 1905 Series Star as Printed In the Chicago Daily Tribune (March 31, 1904)

The 1905 series was introduced with two different size stars. The larger sized star was designated for Patrolman and the smaller sized stars were issued to Police Matrons, Dog Catchers, Surgeon, Assistant Surgeon, Superintendent’s Staff and all other ranks Sergeant and above. When the larger and heavier star was introduced to the department, it earned the nickname “pie plate” by officers because of its size. In addition to the pie plate nickname, the stars with the designated titles of “Ambulance Driver,” “Chauffeur,” “Driver,” “Messenger,” and “Patrol Driver” are also known as a “Pagoda” or “Pagoda Pie Plate.” This nickname comes from the decorative applied panel which carries the title.

Interestingly, the stars were issued just months before the city council voted on a redesigned city seal, and therefore there are two versions of the star that exist. The stars with the old seals were slowly phased out in 1907 and officers were issued stars with the new seal. This also corresponded to the introduction of a new hat shield which was introduced in 1907. It should be noted that the Pagoda Pie Plates, Desk and Patrol Sergeant Stars were never reissued with the new seal as those ranks/titles were eventualy phased out each at different times. The Detective Sergeant star was reissued with a new seal, but was also later phased out. Eventually all Sergeants were issued one identical star with the new seal.

The earlier stars, especially those with the old city seal, were made from German Nickel a soft metal. It is common to find these stars in a very worn condition as they were polished daily by officers before they stood inspection. Due to the combination of the soft metal and the frequent polishing the stars wore very easily. It later became a common practice by officers to have their stars plated in chrome by a jeweler so they would not have to be polished as frequently. A good way to know if a star was re-plated is if it has a very shinny appearance and if you find chrome plating on the sides of the applied copper numbers. The copper numbers were always applied after plating by the manufacturer so if you find plating on the sides of the copper numbers you know the star was re-plated.

Beginning with the 1905 Series star several “Specialty” stars were issued with various titles. Those titles being Desk Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Patrol Sergeant, Dog Catcher and Matron.

PATROLMAN STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: June 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: S.D. Childs & Co. and C.H. Hanson Co.

PATROLMAN STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: 1907 – July 1955

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: and C.H. Hanson Co.

AMBULANCE DRIVER STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

CHAUFFEUR STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

DRIVER STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

PATROL DRIVER STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

MESSENGER STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

DOG CATCHER STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

DOG CATCHER STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: 1907 – July 1955

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

MATRON STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: S.D. Childs & Co.

MATRON STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: 1907 – July 1955

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

OPERATOR STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

OPERATOR STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – November 9, 1906

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: Detective Publishing Co. and S.D. Childs & Co.

DESK SERGEANT STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – November 9, 1906 and February 18, 1908 – October 27, 1909

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: Detective Publishing Co. and S.D. Childs & Co.

DETECTIVE SERGEANT STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – November 9, 1906

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co., Detective Publishing Co. and S.D. Childs & Co.

DETECTIVE SERGEANT STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: February 18, 1908 – October 27, 1909 and circa December 1912 thru c1924

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

PATROL SERGEANT STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – November 9, 1906 and February 18, 1908 – October 27, 1909

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: Detective Publishing Co., Meyer & Wenthe, S.D. Childs & Co.

SERGEANT STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: November 10, 1906 – February 17, 1908 and October 28, 1909 – July 1955

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co., Detective Publishing Co. and W.W. Wilcox Co.

LIEUTENANT STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

LIEUTENANT STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: 1907 – July 1955

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

CAPTAIN STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

CAPTAIN STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: 1907 – July 1955

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

INSPECTOR STAR – Old Seal


In Service Dates: 1905 – 1907

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.

INSPECTOR STAR – New Seal


In Service Dates: 1907 – July 1955

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: C.H. Hanson Co.