It is worth noting the importance of sweat holes on badges. Sometimes called ‘blow holes’, ‘vent holes’, ‘braze holes’ as well as ‘sweat holes’, these holes are found at the rear of bi-metal badges where there was a requirement to fix 2 separate types of metal together. In the example of the York and Lancaster Regiment, it was necessary to fix or solder the white metal Coronet and Rose to the main body of the badge which was made of gilding metal.
The sweat holes appear to have 2 purposes, one to allow gases from the soldering process to escape and the other to allow excess solder to escape to the back of the badge without spilling onto the all important front detail.
Allowing both gas and excess solder to escape ensures that a good fit or join is achieved between the 2 different metals and that the 2 badge parts are securely brazed together.
Different patterns of sweat holes can usually be attributed to different manufacturers and this section includes just some of the different patterns of sweat holes that can be found.
By the 1920’s, improvements in brazing techniques meant that sweat holes went out of use (although some small sweat holes may have been used by the occasional manufacturer of York and Lancaster badges up until the 1930’s). This example shows an oblong sweat hole behind the Coronet and a round sweat hole behind the Rose. Both holes show clearly where excess solder has overflowed during the brazing process.
Being on loops would date this badge to between 1897 and 1903.