In 1961 while in Union City, New Jersey; E. Henry Conrad worked with NASA (using their new logo) and created the first embroidered patch for NASA most commonly known as the “meatball”.
Since February 24, 1970 A-B Emblem has been the exclusive supplier to the astronaut’s office and has held the contract ever since. We make every mission and expedition patch that is sold to NASA and flys in space.
Pre-computer era the commander of the mission would often fly in a T-38 to the Asheville airport and come personally to the factory to help our designers morph their graphics into art, using needle and thread.
The commander still gets the honor of designing the mission patch, but with email and digital files, the commander no longer needs to physically fly to Asheville, to get the job done.
We are Conrad Industries doing business as A-B Emblem.
Emblems are a unique method of representing your affiliations and we love supporting our country! NASA's endeavor to explore the galaxy is a dream we share. We also make patches for the United States Military.
Since the 1970s, we have been making the NASA mission patches for the astronauts in Weaverville NC and always will. We own and operate factories in North Carolina, Mexico and China. Depending on production scheduling issues and amount of work needed in a particular factory, we will make the NASA patches we sell at retail and to the general public in one of these three factories. We use the same digital patterns and raw materials in all three of our factories. We do have a line of old Schiffli machine patches that were made in Weaverville in the 80s and 90s, and we call them the New Old Stock Collection.
In the mountains of North Carolina in Weaverville, since 1963. Take a tour inside our offices and manufacturing plant with the help of Google Streetview!
In Tecali, Puebla Mexico since 1996 and in Lai Xi China since 2006.