The Anti-Automobile Thief Association of America Badge Found Metal Detecting

Recently, a couple of detecting buddies and I were invited to metal detect at an old post office and private property. Our main goal was to recover a lost rock breaker bar for the property owner, but ultimately we weren’t able to locate it without more information on where it was lost.

Since we were looking for a large object, I was digging most signals that I thought could be a part of the lost breaker bar when I got a nice high tone in my headphones and decided to dig the target.

About 5 inches down I found this The Anti-Automobile Thief Association of America badge from 1924-1925.

The date is difficult to see but top center I can see a date of 1924-25. According to research I was able to learn the following information about this interesting piece of history:

“This early 1920’s photo courtesy of Fred Carlton shows two armed representatives of the Anti-Automobile Thief Association of America in a Stutz Touring Car in Dallas, Texas; it gets the message across that they meant business.

If the rifle didn’t make the message clear, its newspaper advertising campaign would as it stated: If you have a hankering for a sentence behind prison bars STEAL A CAR belonging to a member of the AATA. For we know you methods and you don’t know ours! We never stop until WE GET YOU!

An article in The Insurance Press December 7, 1921 issue about the Union Insurance Company of Wichita, an automobile underwriter, states that the AATA was also a Wichita product. The Company also required its insured to be a member of the AATA which cost the car owner $15.00 per year.

The Anti-Automobile Thief Association of America (AATA) was first formed in Wichita, Kansas, probably in 1918, the year its name was copyrighted.

References were found to the AATA being a parallel organization to the Anti-Horse Thief Association which was first formed in 1854.”

Final Thoughts:

Historical pieces of Americana like this are what make the hobby of metal detecting so interesting.  These types of artifacts teach us about the past and how life was in days gone by.  I had never heard of The Anti Automobile Thief Association of America prior to finding this badge so it was a pleasant surprise to learn about the history behind my most recent find.

Thanks for checking it out!

Image Credits:

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1853 Braided Hair Large Cent Found Metal Detecting!

I’ve been metal detecting almost 7 years now and have never dug an 1800’s coin in Arkansas. As a matter of fact, I was starting to wonder if I ever would since a 1910 Wheat penny was the oldest coin I had ever found in my area.

Likewise, I’ve not seen anyone else dig a coin that old around here.  I detect with a few guys, so I have a pretty good idea of what type of finds are normally found around here.  That is why If you had told me before my hunt this past Sunday that I would find a Large Cent I would have literally laughed at that statement!

Sunday I didn’t have any real plans other than to “grow a pair” and ask permission somewhere in hopes of changing things up a bit.  I haven’t had much luck lately with detecting other than a couple silver dimes here and there and I was determined to change that!

I decided to drive a couple towns over in hopes of catching someone outside to ask permission to detect their yard.  After a couple of door knocks with no answers, I was getting discouraged when I saw a sports team flag hanging from the porch of an early 1900’s house and figured that they might be approachable and let me detect their yard.

After a few minutes of talking with the property owners I showed them a short video of How I dig a plug when metal detecting and they were fine with me scanning their yard, with one stipulation… “How about One Hour?”  I said “You got it, I’ll set an alarm on my phone!”

With no time to waste, I got geared up and started detecting the front yard. It didn’t take long to realize that someone had probably beaten me to the punch because I wasn’t finding much more than modern pennies.  That’s when I noticed the side door and told myself “Maybe I should slow down in this area, maybe they used the side door more often than the front door.”  So, I did slow down a bit in that area.

I noticed a round depression in the ground which is an indicator I look for that tells me a tree used to be there. (See my Article: Indicators to look for when detecting homesteads for more tips) Anyway, I noticed the depression and thought that maybe people used to sit under that tree at one time.  It didn’t take long after and I heard a penny tone and decided to dig it.  A 1910 Wheat Penny! Whoa, a penny over 100 years old!  I love finding wheaties so I was happy with that.  That area gave up a few more wheaties …

And then, I got an 88-89 number read out from my AT PRO metal detector, and I thought that I might have a silver quarter! I was excited but decided to dig carefully just in case it was silver.

I dug a 5 inch deep plug and folded it back, and that’s when I saw something round in the bottom of the hole.  I quickly grabbed it and thought “What in the world?”

That’s when I noticed the odd face on the coin.  I was like “HOLY …” I couldn’t believe it! I wasn’t sure if it was a half cent or a large cent as I had only seen them in pictures.  I could hardly contain my excitement, but, I did my best to remain calm as I put the coin in the side pocket of my pouch.

Prior to finding this large cent, I had found a 1910 wheat penny, a 1956 wheat penny and some clad coins.  I figured there was silver around there somewhere, but this 1853 Large Cent is WAYYYYY more cool in my opinion!  My first Braided Hair Large Cent!  Yesss!

The funny part is, I was in chat the other day telling the guys that I will never find a large cent in my area.  I believed that, but this find proves, Ya Just Never Know what your next find will be!

Sure beats a silver dime or quarter, any day in my opinion!  Thanks for checking it out, I hope your next plug reveals something amazing.

Til then, Happy Hunting My friends!

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A Couple of Silver Dimes with my Minelab CTX 3030

Over the holidays I got out and did some metal detecting a few times. Okay, more than a few times! Like, 5 times…because, I was determined to find some Christmas silver if it was the last thing I did!

One cold morning bright and early I traveled a few towns over in hopes of finding a silver coin or two in a park.  After about an hour of detecting it was pouring down rain, and the temperature was quickly dropping below 30 degrees but I was determined to find a silver coin before I left.

My pouch was quickly filling with junk, and I can’t lie, at one point I was starting to think I was getting wet for no reason when I got a sweet sounding tone on my CTX3030.  I was pretty sure it was a dime, and was hoping it was silver…


About 5 inches down I was rewarded for my efforts in the rain, and pulled this silver 1946 Rosie dime!  Suddenly I didn’t mind the cold rain as much, I finally had a silver coin in my pouch and I was doing a happy dance inside.  It started to rain even harder and since I was satisfied with finding a silver coin I decided to call it a day and head back home for some hot coffee and donuts. With silver in my pocket!

On New Years day I decided to try my luck at a park in a nearby town. I had never detected there so I figured I would take my Minelab CTX3030 with the 11 inch coil and see what I could find.  In a back corner of the park  I started finding coins from the 1970’s which gave me hope that silver coins could be there too.


17merc1My 3rd target in that area I got a sweet sounding high tone, with a 12-44 readout and I started getting excited.  Just 4 inches down I found my dime and as soon as I saw it I knew that it was silver.  I didn’t really expect to find silver at that park, but hec yeah! I’ll take it!

The rest of the hunt was mostly modern coins and some junk.  While I was there I noticed an area that looks really promising for some jewelry and rings…a return trip with the AT Pro is in order next!



Posted in Metal Detecting, Metal Detecting Finds, Minelab CTX3030 Metal Detector | 2 Comments