There were two kinds of employee badges used in the first seven years Disneyland was open. Regular employees had a badge with their employee number. Supervisors and managers had their full names on their badges.
The supervisor badge in the photo above was worn by James Warrick, who came to the park in 1955. The Coast Guard required an on-site captain to be in charge of all the water craft at Disneyland. Mr. Warrick filled this role until 1959, when the requirement was dropped. At that time, he transferred to Disneyland’s Department 41, Maintenance Management, and became the supervisor.
In these early years, the name badges worn at Disneyland were not plastic but metal. They were manufactured by the Los Angeles Stamp and Stationery Company (LASCO), which made many products using stamping presses and dies, such as coins and tokens for local businesses. They also made badges for law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.
It’s been reported that the metal badges were used at Disneyland from 1955 through 1962, when the switch to plastic nametags was made. Actually, 1962 was not the absolute end of the metal badges at Disneyland. That same year, LASCO went out of business and sold off its dies and presses. Since no more of the metal badges could be made, Disneyland just decided not to issue any more of them.
Disney decided it would be more cost effective to switch to plastic nametags that could be engraved onsite whenever a new employee was hired. So Disneyland, Inc. contracted with Western Plastics in Long Beach, CA, to make the plastic nametags for Disney Cast Members, which that company did for nearly the next 30 years.
It’s hard to say exactly when the final switch was made to the plastic nametags for all Cast Members at Disneyland. In the 1966 film of the grand opening of It’s A Small World at Disneyland, Cast Members standing behind Walt can clearly be seen wearing the first plastic Disneyland nametags.
Finally, by the arrival of the New Tomorrowland in 1967, all the Cast Members in the park had switched to the plastic nametags.