TECH ETHER GUILD
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Tech Ether Guild (TEG) belt buckles are popular among collectors and revered for the quality of their "red brass" and construction methods. The best information resource I'm aware of is the Tech Ether Guild Facebook page where some original members have commented on the company and how it operated.
Most of the TEG buckle designs were named and included in quotation marks on the back of the buckle. The earliest TEG buckles had no markings but sales catalogs from the company document the design names. The manufacturer Banshee Brass appears to predate the Tech Ether Guild and artist Jesse Mcleod has some association with both buckle makers. Buckle designs such as "Colorado Sunrise" and "Azalea" can be found with the Banshee Brass markings or with no markings, indicating it was a TEG casting.
TEG also produced belt buckle blanks that were used by other companies to create unique buckles with stamped leather inserts, wood carvings, and casting resin. After the TEG ended, Valleau Studios (Bill Valleau) produced buckles with very similar construction. A few engraved brass buckles were produced in the 1980s with markings of both the Tech Ether Guild and Ampersand Brass. See more photos of TEG buckles in the Photo Gallery.
Suspected affiliate companies: Banshee Brass, Von West, Colonial Leather Company, Valleau Studio, Ampersand Brass
Example of a Tech Ether Guild casting for the Colorado Sunrise design and another buckle with the Jesse Mcleod/Banshee Brass hallmarks
Original packaging plastic bag for Tech Ether Guild belt buckles
Trinity Buckle Co
Trinity Buckle Co manufactured solid brass belt buckles in California starting in the 1970s. Early designs are only marked "SOLID BRASS" as shown in the upper photo. Later designs used a cursive font and sometimes included "By Trinity". The designs often featured wood inlays and some were laser engraved to create nature or wildlife scenes.
See more Trinity belt buckles in the Photo Gallery.
Storefront of the Trinity Buckle Co.
Trinity Buckle Co solid brass belt buckle in sealed original packaging
WYOMING STUDIOS (JAMES LIND)
This manufacturer was active during the 1970s and produced many retail and corporate buckle designs. The buckles featured plating over a softer base metal. Most retail designs are inspired by wildlife or southwestern and native american styles.
Little information is available about artist and company operations.