Original merit badges

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"Original merit badges" may refer to either:


Original 14 "Badges of Merit" (1910)

"Badges of Merit" were included in the "Original edition" of the Official Handbook. This temporary handbook was written by Ernest Thompson Seton and was published by the Boy Scouts of America from July 1910 to March 1911. The original 14 "Badges of Merit" were:

  1. Ambulance
  2. Clerk
  3. Cyclist
  4. Electrician
  5. Fireman
  6. Gardener
  7. Horseman
  8. Marksman
  9. Master-at-Arms
  10. Musician
  11. Pioneer
  12. Seaman
  13. Signaller
  14. Stalker


Original 57 merit badges introduced in 1911

The first official publication of The Official Handbook for Boys occurred in June 1911. In this edition, the Master-at-Arms badge was dropped, the other 13 were retained with changed names, 44 new ones were added, and all became know as "Merit Badges".

This is a list of the original 57 merit badges issued in 1911, with the surviving renamed 1910 "Badges of Merit" in italics and the currently active merit badges in bold:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Angling (as Fishing and Fly Fishing)
  3. Archery
  4. Architecture
  5. Art
  6. Astronomy
  7. Athletics
  8. Automobiling
  9. Aviation
  10. Beefarming
  11. Blacksmithing
  12. Bugling
  13. Clerk -> Business
  14. Camping
  15. Carpentry
  16. Chemistry
  17. Civics
  18. Conservation
  19. Cooking
  20. Craftsmanship
  21. Cyclist -> Cycling
  22. Dairying
  23. Electrician -> Electricity
  24. Fireman -> Firemanship (as Fire Safety)
  25. Ambulance -> First Aid
  26. First Aid to Animals (as Veterinary Science)
  27. Forestry
  28. Gardener -> Gardening
  29. Handicraft
  30. Horseman ->Horsemanship
  31. Interpreting
  32. Invention
  33. Leatherworking (as Leatherwork)
  34. Lifesaving
  35. Machinery
  36. Marksman -> Marksmanship (as Rifle Shooting and Shotgun Shooting)
  37. Masonry
  38. Mining
  39. Musician ->Music
  40. Ornithology (as Bird Study)
  41. Painting
  42. Pathfinding
  43. Personal Health (as Personal Fitness)
  44. Photography
  45. Pioneer -> Pioneering
  46. Plumbing
  47. Poultry Farming
  48. Printing
  49. Public Health
  50. Scholarship
  51. Sculpture
  52. Seaman -> Seamanship (as Motorboating and Small-Boat Sailing)
  53. Signaller -> Signaling
  54. Stalker -> Stalking
  55. Surveying
  56. Swimming
  57. Taxidermy
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