Motorcycle Cap with Buttons Commemorating LGBTQ+ Events and Places, 1969-1971

Summary

Gay motorcycle clubs began to form in California just after World War II, and leather was the staple material of their uniforms. This counterculture movement prioritized the hyper masculine, which appealed to many gay men who had long been stereotyped as effeminate. Biker clubs also provided a mobile social network when persecution and the threat of police raids were ever-present at established gay locales.

Gay motorcycle clubs began to form in California just after World War II, and leather was the staple material of their uniforms. This counterculture movement prioritized the hyper masculine, which appealed to many gay men who had long been stereotyped as effeminate. Biker clubs also provided a mobile social network when persecution and the threat of police raids were ever-present at established gay locales.

Artifact

Cap (Headgear)

Date Made

1969-1971

Creators

Western Badge and Button Company 

Achievement Badge Company 

Place of Creation

United States, California, Los Angeles 

United States, California, Anaheim 

Creator Notes

Several buttons made by Western Badge and Button Company of Los Angeles and Anaheim, California. One button made by Achievement Badge company of Los Angeles, California.

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Pop Up Exhibit

Object ID

2021.194.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Leather
Cloth
Plastic
Metal
Paper (Fiber product)

Color

Multicolored

Dimensions

Height: 2.25 in

Width: 9 in

Length: 11.75 in

Inscriptions

on white button: H on front of white button with Snoopy: BLUE MAX M.C. L.A. / CURSE YOU / RED BARON! / RED BARON RUN 1970 on bottom of white button with Snoopy: WESTERN BADGE, LA., ANAH[?] on pink button with black script: TOYS FOR TOTS / H / DECEMBER 1970 on front of white button with blue and red script: GLADIATOR M.C. / ARMED / FORCES / DAY / RUN / 1971 on bottom of white button with blue and red script: WESTERN BADGE, LA., ANAHEIM on white button with red script: LGS / 1969 / CHERRY RUN / APRIL 18, 1971 on white button with blue script: I GOT / DONE, / ON THE BUDDY / RUN / BMC 10-4-70 on white button with American flag: BUDDY MOTORCYCLE CLUB / YANKEE DOODLE SCRAMBLES 1970 on white button with cupid: Cupid Run / 1971 on front of yellow button with blue script: FASCHING TAG / BENEFIT RUN 1970 on bottom of yellow button with blue script: WESTERN BADGE, [LA., ANAHEIM] on white button with red script: CAMP-O-LOON II / Z. T. I. / AUGUST, 1969 on front of orange button with black script: SIXTH ANNUAL / ANNIVERSARY RUN / '71 on bottom of orange button with black script: WESTERN BADGE, LA., ANAHEIM on front of light orange button with black script: SIXTH ANNUAL / FALL FIELD MEET / '70 on bottom of light orange button with black script: WESTERN BADGE, LA., ANAHEIM on light orange button with black script: FIFTH ANNUAL / ANNIVERSARY RUN / '70 on gold button with red and blue script: THE NEW METHOD / INAUGURAL / 1970 on gold button with blue script: GLADIATOR / M .C. / MAIDEN RUN / 1970 on white button with black script: The Council of Southern California Motorcycle Clubs / OLYMPICS 1970 on gold, blue and red button: A / 2 / M A on white button with blue script: B M C / 10/4 -1 on front of white button with black script: 1st / '70 / BLACK PIPE / LA / INDIVIDUAL COMPETITION RUN on bottom of white button with black script: WESTERN BADGE, LA., ANAHEIM on white button with black script: DON'S / MALE / BOX / 1971 on green button with black script: TOYS FOR TOTS / H / 1971 on white button with American flag: GOD BLESS / AMERICA on front of light orange button with black script: SIXTH ANNUAL / EASTER RUN / '71 on bottom of light orange button with black script: WESTERN BADGE, LA., ANAHEIM on white button with black script: TRADESMAN ANNIVERSARY / JULY 4, 1970 on front of white button with green script: BUDDY MOTORCYCLE CLUB / ST. PATRICK'S / DAY RUN / MARCH 14, 1971 on bottom of white button with green script: ACHIEVEMENT BADGE CO. L.A. Calif. on silver button with blue script: SILVER SPURS / 1st / ANNIVERSARY on silver button with black script: OEDIPUS GRECIAN GAMES / V / 1970 on green and black button: 9 / 9 / 9 / [...] / H on white button with red script: FALL ROUNDUP / H / SEPT. 13, 1970

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