Post by Scarfwearer on Jun 30, 2005 19:14:56 GMT 1
Hmm. Dunno about the films, but the according to Steven Hill's site, the original TV TARDIS had a third variation, which just said "St. John Ambulance". www.shillpages.com/dw/tardis.htm (second image listed).
Just looked at the relevant bits of the Cushing movies on DVD and the only time you see a decent shot of the St. John sign is in the first one.
It definitely says "The St. John Ambulance Association", though I can't tell what form the bottom graphic is taking, whether it is a dot, a Maltese cross (like on the gif on most St. John Ambulance websites), or the intricate mix in ironageman's first graphic.
There might have been slightly more space between the "T" in "The" and the "N" in "Association", however. Seems like those visual centers of those two letters lined up perfectly with the tips of the lower cross arm, but resolution was too poor to be accurate.
Just took a closer look at the "Brigade" version ironageman posted. The almost perfect lineup of the cross points and the lowest two letters (first and last letters of the phrase) is exactly the visual impression I got in the Cushing sign - except of course it said "Association" instead of "Brigade".
As for the sign on the original TV prop, it was something like this:
ie NO WORDING WHATSOEVER and a smaller Maltese cross.
It can be seen most clearly in the Pilot episode. The several takes of the second half of the episode - when Barbara barges through the police box doors into the TARDIS interior - all start with nice closeups of the phone panel and St John Ambulance sign, showing it in all its no-wording-ness.
I'd have included an photo if I could have found my digital camera!
Here are pics of the St. John plaque on the Cushing TARDIS (first film only as second did not have any good shots of the St. John plaque at all):
In the film this was clearly black and white gloss enamel on a thin plaque (probably metal) with two screws in the same position as genuine plaque posted by ironageman and appears to be a standard 6" size.
I think it is quite possible that they simply got an original plaque from the St. John Ambulance Assoc. at the time (1965) rather than go to the trouble to exactly match an original, as this is.
Below are the closest shots from the movie for additional details and font identification:
Top - Note the inner line is clearly visible.
Bottom - Note that you can make out that the sentence separator at the bottom is a dot as on ironageman's "Brigade" plaque rather than either of the two cross symbols found in other versions (ironageman's "Assoc." graphic and the current St. John Ambulance logo as per the image on the site mentioned by ScarfWearer at www.shillpages.com/dw/tardis.htm ).
Yes it seems most likely that the Cushing box plaque was the Real Thing. You can see the two screws on it, anyhow. Oh, and the animals are little tiny ones as on the 'brigade' picture that I posted.
My 'association' picture is based on the frontispiece of a pre-war copy of 'First Aid to the Injured' so the curious cross at the bottom is authentic to the era but perhaps not to 6" enamel plaques. (Ditto the word spacing and the big creatures.)
That wordless plaque is bizarre though. Perhaps they only had the Dinky toy for reference...
come with us now on a journey through time and space
are scans from the 1938 edition of First Aid to the Injured, first published in 1901. I particularly like the way that the beasts aren't mirror-images of each other but all look as if the light comes from the top left.
come with us now on a journey through time and space
Presumably these graphics remained unchanged but I can't be sure; some of the illustrations have certainly been sneakily updated since 1901, as one can tell from the fashions worn.
All this doesn't prove that there was ever a 6" enamel plaque of this type, of course. The Cushing style seems the safest bet I suppose, but I do like the look of this old badge; it seems to exhibit a greater attention to detail.
come with us now on a journey through time and space
Apparently things did change quite a bit both on the cover and the interior of the "First Aid to the Injured" books. Kind of to be expected, I suppose, considering the evolving nature of First Aid techniques.
Apparently the concept of the lay public doing First Aid dates to around the founding of The St. John Ambulance Association in 1877 and they have been in the forefront ever since.
Thumbnails are clickable for larger images:
1914 - 25th Edition Note that the lower part of the seal is even more elaborate than ironageman's 1938 version. Also, I have a picture of an 1894 First Aid Certificate that has this same seal with the same elaborate word separator.
1915 - 29th Edition Apparently the same seal was in use until around the end of the war.
And now for something completely different. . .
1931 - 38th Edition
All the above were published in London.
Obviously the 1931 and Ironageman's 1938 version are the ones most likely to have been found in an early Police Box's First Aid Cupboard, assuming they included a manual.
For anybody wondering - St. John Ambulance is a foundation of the now autonomous English arm of the knightly Order of St. John of "Knights of Malta" and "Maltese Falcon" fame - also called the "Hospitallers" because they not only fought as knights through most of their history but tended to the sick and injured as part of their duties (in fact being their original raison d'etre).
They had their roots before the First Crusade and in their prime had many branches around the world, but the English branch was all but eradicated under Henry VIII in the mid-1500s along with all the other monastic orders, with only a brief respite under Queen Mary.
In the mid-1800s there was a resurgence of interest in this sort of Knightly Order in England and as a result their branch was revived, but due to a dispute over details and who controls what with the main branch in Rome, et al, they were sort of on the outs the main Order (though reportedly maintaining "close and friendly relations with it") so Queen Victoria issued a Royal Charter for them in 1888 as "The Most Venerable Order Of The Hospital Of St. John Of Jerusalem" to give them official status. As a result we have the British Royal lions and unicorns in their current crest (the Maltese/Vatican main branch just has the eight-pointed "Maltese" cross - yes, they still call themselves the Knights of Malta even though they were kicked out of Malta by Napoleon in 1809).
One of the main interests these British re-founders had was in furthering the new Ambulance Movement that had its start in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. So, in 1877 they started "The St. John Ambulance Association" whose purpose was to conduct training of lay and professional First Aiders and distribute First Aid equipment.
As a further aid to their humanitarian ends, in 1887 they then started "The St. John Ambulance Brigade" which was/is a hands-on, uniformed branch that actually provided First Aid personnel and equipment for events and emergencies, including transportation of the sick and injured.
Finally, in 1968 these two branches were joined to become simply "St. John Ambulance", which is why all the different wording on the many logos/seals above.
The reason for the differences in the animals and the like is that, as with heraldry in general, a detailed description was made of the coat of arms, but the specific rendition was up to whoever was doing the graphics at the time.
In the digital age, the images seem to have become more uniform.
Here is a pic of a current sticker that shows what is essentially their current logo/crest/seal with far more detail than you usually get on their websites (click the thumbnail below to see the full resolution image):
No, I think it means they did something on the cheap to "suggest" a St. John Ambulance plaque - guess they couldn't afford a gopher to run out and get one during their lunch break (I'm sure St. John Ambulance would have loved the free publicity).
Really, you've got to see it to believe how cheaply it was done.
Couple more clickable thumbs to show the progression of the St. John logo (on their manuals, at least) through to the Hartnell period.
1950 - 40th Edition
Note that this 1950 version finally looks almost identical to the Cushing box plaque. Only differences are very slight to the letter-to-cross point alignments in the upper three arms. Lines, bottom separator, fonts, spacing and overall alignment (particularly of the lower cross to wording) are all but identical. Animals, as best can be compared considering the poor quality of the Cushing pics, are also the same.
1964 Edition of a 1958 publication (confirmed same logo as on 1960 Edition) - New publication now just entitled "First Aid", but also now sponsored by St. Andrew's Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross Society.
Note that as of approximately 1958 (1960 and 1964 confirmed) they have reverted to exactly the same circa late 1930s cover art of the logo that ironageman used as the basis for his beautiful .eps reproduction of a St. John Ambulance plaque.
Very possible this version of the seal was in use on plaques (including for Police Boxes) in the 30s, the late 50s and much of the 60s, though in the 50s (and possibly late 40s) was probably alongside ones identical to the Cushing box's. Quite a few assumptions here since the plaques were probably done completely separately by different contractors, but the coupling of the 1950 book cover and the Cushing plaque suggests some correlation is possible. We need to see pics of more original Association plaques, preferably with places and dates of use, to make better conclusions.
By the way Teletran, not to take things too seriously, the reason I say that the Hartnell round thingy reminiscent of a St. John plaque wouldn't be simply a reference or association to the main branch of the Order is that the Knights of Malta crest isn't in a circle within a circle like the Hartnell one is as there is no wording that needs to be included.
The image is clearly supposed to be a St. John Ambulance badge as it is the white cross on a black circle within another white circle with a further black line circle where it is supposed to underline and set apart the lettering - it's just that there are no letters (just variations in texture that look all the world like it was made from a corrugated paper plate) and no animals that I can see.
I'll try to post a pic later, but don't have the ability to capture from VHS so have to rely on a digital camera with a really bad shutter lag time and since it's SP the still frame is, shall we say, somewhat less than useful.
Oh, and just for further information, the actual crest for the English Chartered branch of the Order of St. John is in color, even though all pics of the plaques I've seen are purely black and white.
There's even a flag that consists of a white maltese cross on a black flag with the lions and unicorns in gold. There are some quite beautiful samples of gold medals with a white enamel cross - really makes things pop.
Post by Scarfwearer on Jul 19, 2005 22:12:50 GMT 1
Is there a shot where the design is at all clear? If so, I could have a go at capturing it. I looked though a some of the early stories on VHS, but couldn't find a good shot. Best I could see was a faint grey circle. But then my videos are NTSC, so they've probably lost another quality step.
I think the budget for those early episodes was not much more than £1000.00, so a paper plate was probably it!
Is there a shot where the design is at all clear? If so, I could have a go at capturing it. . . .
The best shots of it are in the Pilot as the TARDIS had yet to have the artex and paint weathering added that so effectively camouflaged the sign for the next six years, but if you don't have a commercial tape of it (it was in "The Hartnell Years") I wouldn't bother, as even that leaves something to be desired.
Best scenes are as Barbara and Ian (and later the Doctor) are chatting outside the TARDIS and especially as Barbara pushes her way into the console room. That's a little over 20 minutes in, if memory serves.
Yep, it appears to be their official motto crest (notice there are eight, one for each point of the cross). They also used it (in colour) on the First Day Issue Cover for the commemorative stamps issued in 1987 to mark the Centenary of (I presume) the Brigade.
Sorry to go off-tardis again but all this St John’s information is fascinating. I love the motto on that last sign, words to aspire to (discrimination presumably meaning triage). I worked next to St John’s in Clerkenwell, London, for five years while I served my apprenticeship. There is a lovely museum at St John’s gate which I think is the ancient Priory of the Knights Hospitallers. Has anyone been there? TG