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US WWI Uniforms


Mitter2k1

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Mitter2k1

Here is my first post and I figured I would put up some photos of my US WWI uniforms. I don't collect much outside of what would of actually been worn in the trenches, so my uniform collection is probably bland for those expecting to see unit patches and various other adornments that would of been added Post-Armistice. So first up is a rather interesting wool coat. This one in particular was made by Henry Sonneborn & Co., Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland. It is contract number 847 dated September of 1917. It is made of a heavier blanket style wool and does not have the cotton lining that is seen in earlier uniforms. The overall texture of the wool itself is rather soft compared to others that I own or have handled. Specifically, this tunic features the plain US and Infantry disks and a single corporal's chevron on the right arm as was the regulation during the war.

So please bear with me as I am trying out a new camera and attempting to figure out the proper settings to get the best shot. So without further ado, here are the photos.

Thank you,

Mike

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Here is my first post and I figured I would put up some photos of my US WWI uniforms. I don't collect much outside of what would of actually been worn in the trenches, so my uniform collection is prob

I also picked up a nice Gas and Flame Regiment patched cotton tunic. It doesn't have any rank, but does have a honorable discharge chevron on the left sleeve, and just above it the G&F patch. At t

Here are a few more uniforms from my collection. These are pretty plain so to speak and I will highlight some of the interesting details about them.  First up is an early M1910/12 enlisted wool u

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Mitter2k1

Wow it has been a long few days. I have been away at the Show of Shows in Louisville, Kentucky over the weekend and picked up some uniforms that I will share with you all. First up is a World War I 78th Division Infantry 2nd Lieutenant tunic. This one is tailor made and features a 78th Division patch on the left shoulder. One of the things that is interesting about it is the LT. bars are directly embroidered to the uniform. It also came with a rather nice pair of matching breeches that have the button up calves, which I neglected to photograph. It is named and I will attempt to research it later on. The seller was pretty sure it was unidentified, even after showing him the tailor tag in the inside pocket. There is actually another neat feature about this uniform that I did not discover until after I got back to the hotel. Inside the breeches was an early Pennsylvania United States Volunteers dog tag in the pocket, which happens to match the name on the tailor tag. Which is pretty lucky for me considering I have only found tobacco and a dirty handkerchief in all of the others I have owned. Unfortunately it is missing one button and there is one that doesn't match and I will fix the missing one in the near future. If it looks like the bottom button is off, that is because it is. Apparently the veteran continued wearing the uniform after the war, and after gaining weight, and moved the bottom two so it would fit a bit better.

Thanks,

Mike

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I also picked up a nice Gas and Flame Regiment patched cotton tunic. It doesn't have any rank, but does have a honorable discharge chevron on the left sleeve, and just above it the G&F patch. At the same seller there was a painted helmet with the same insignia, but both the uniform and helmet are not original to each other. It is a British Brodie as you can see by the split rivets on the bails and it does have an intact liner and chinstrap. The uniform itself is a little rough, but it is a scarce item as there are very few of either of these around.

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3 hours ago, Bill said:

Amazing stuff, and pretty scarce in this neck of the woods at least.great to see militaria of this quality.

Thank you Bill. It is very hard to find nice items from the period sometimes. Uniforms are especially difficult as there are so many things that can go wrong i.e.- buttons falling off, corroded insignia, insect damage, poor handling, and whatever else that can come to bite you in the rear. Field gear is especially difficult as it was heavily used during WWI and often recycled into use for WWII, but that is where we as collectors come in. To help preserve and maintain it until we pass it on to someone else.

Thanks again,

Mike

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Mitter2k1

Next up is a 1st Army Engineers enlisted wool tunic for the 21st Railway (Light) Engineers. This uniform isn't named, but has US 21 and Engineer collar disks, 2 overseas stripes, Engineer PFC chevron and a honorable discharge chevron. It also yielded a prize in the pocket in the form of another Engineer PFC chevron, which is always welcome in my book. It also has fell victim to the dreaded button failure and lost two while the seller was manhandling it, but they will be replaced in due time. There are also a couple of small moth holes which do not detract from it much at all. 

Thanks,

Mike

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  • Major General

Simply superb! Must admit WW1 isn't my main area of interest or expertise, but I do admire your gear.something different and a welcome change from the norm.

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Mitter2k1

Last up is a 78th Division wool Ordnance Sergeant's tunic. This one has the same 78th patch as the uniform above, but still retains the overseas and honorable discharge chevrons. For disks it has US National Army and the flaming ordnance bomb. No name so far, but I haven't had much of a chance to check it out. There is also some really great stitch work on the sergeant chevron, well until you get to the bottom where it looks like he got tired of messing with it and got a little sloppy. Overall it is a rather interesting tunic. The buttons are unmarked and are a little more shiny than the usual. It is tailor made from a lightweight wool and along with the buttons, I am beginning to think that it may be French made. I will have to do some further investigating to see what may be hidden somewhere on the coat. 

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9 minutes ago, Bill said:

Simply superb! Must admit WW1 isn't my main area of interest or expertise, but I do admire your gear.something different and a welcome change from the norm.

Thank you very much for your kind words. The fact that it is completely different is what draws me to it the most. There are not as many that collect this era, which sometimes makes it hard to find answers. However, that is half of the fun in collecting it. The fact that you really have to do your homework when it comes to figuring some of these things out. It hasn't even hit the 100th Anniversary of the US entering the war yet, and there are still huge gaps in information in regards to uniforms, field gear, and insignia. I also collect insignia, mostly collar disks, and believe me when I say there are a lot of things I wish were written down nearly 100 years ago. 

Thanks,

Mike

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On 2/25/2016 at 14:41, Lenny said:

Superb, love them... :D

Thanks Lenny. I need to drag out a couple more and photograph them when I can find the time. The year just kicked into overdrive for me with the Show of Shows a week ago and another that I went to this weekend. Needless to say, I am ready for a vacation :P

Thanks again,

Mike

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Guest Fred Karno's Army

It always amazes me how reasonably priced US WW1 uniforms are compared to other nations.I suppose the quantity of men involved compared to other nations,and the climate in most parts of the states has helped preserve them more than Europe.I can remember going to the gun show in Pomona California and buying several years ago averaged around $40-60 each.All badged,including a lovely 82nd INF which had hand sewn insignia,and a 1st inf chemical detachment tunic,again all hand sewn badges.

  Them were the days lol,but looking now they seem still well under the $200 mark,when compared to crazy British tunics,my last costing £380 pounds :(.

  Please post more it's a pleasure to see these :).

    

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On 2/29/2016 at 06:26, Ham & Jam said:

It always amazes me how reasonably priced US WW1 uniforms are compared to other nations.I suppose the quantity of men involved compared to other nations,and the climate in most parts of the states has helped preserve them more than Europe.I can remember going to the gun show in Pomona California and buying several years ago averaged around $40-60 each.All badged,including a lovely 82nd INF which had hand sewn insignia,and a 1st inf chemical detachment tunic,again all hand sewn badges.

  Them were the days lol,but looking now they seem still well under the $200 mark,when compared to crazy British tunics,my last costing £380 pounds :(.

  Please post more it's a pleasure to see these :).

    

I know what you mean. US items are pretty readily available and usually for a reasonable price. However, as soon as you go outside of the US, it gets pretty crazy with the prices. I saw a number of WWI uniforms at the Show of Shows a few weeks ago, and to be honest, I wish I knew more about them. There were a number of French uniforms that would of been great to have, I just don't know squat about them except the price was considerably higher. Heck, they could of been reproductions and I would of been convinced. 

I will post some more patched uniforms next week as I have a couple of patched uniforms on the way to some US divisions that saw combat, including a 1st Division. But, I really need to take some photos of some of my plain uniforms to update my records and later today should be a good time to do a couple of quick posts with those.

Thanks,

Mike

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On 3/4/2016 at 18:15, Daniel said:

WOW very nice collection

Thank you Daniel. Hopefully I can get more photos added soon of my other uniforms. Eventually I will get into the field gear and insignia when I find the time to photograph and post those.

-Mike

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Mitter2k1

Here are a few more uniforms from my collection. These are pretty plain so to speak and I will highlight some of the interesting details about them. 

First up is an early M1910/12 enlisted wool uniform. This uniform in particular has a number of different things going on that make it a very interesting piece. To start off, it is named to a Frank Barnard that served with Company M, 3rd Oklahoma infantry. This is a pre-WWI uniform as you will see by the tag and the rimless eagle buttons, which would later be switched to the rimmed style around 1916. The coat also features the usual 2 rows of stitching abouve the cuff. It was made by Morris Busch and has a contract date of November 12, 1910 and also has a Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot stamp of March 16, 1912. This uniform was probably part of the transition from the standing-falling to the standing type seen in the photos. In addition, this is the uniform the soldier wore for inspections as it has wool padding added to the shoulders just above the sleeve for a squared look. There were also hooks added below the bottom button to help keep the bottom of the coat closed. 

-Mike

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Next up is a rather nice tailored wool uniform to a 1st Lieutenant that served in the cavalry. Unfortunately it is not named and is missing one of the WC Link LT. bars, not to mention the officer's cuff stripes. This one in particular was made by Rhodes-Rapier in Louisville, Kentucky sometime during the war. It is however a nice example of an private purchase uniform with the exception of the above mentioned issues.

-Mike

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Here is one of the uniforms that I picked up over the weekend. Unfortunately it is not named as it would make a great research project. This is a 29th Division uniform to a guy that was in Company B of one of the Machine Gun battalions. It has 3 overseas service chevrons and unfortunately, it is not named. 

Thanks,

Mike

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Next we have an WWI 82nd Division Infantry uniform. The patch is an interesting one as a number of experienced collectors have never seen this color variation before, so it may be unit specific or something of that nature. This uniform has one 6 month overseas service chevron and a wound chevron on the opposite sleeve. The 82nd Division is famous for Sgt. Alvin York and later became the 82nd Airborne Division.

If anyone has any questions about any of the uniforms I have posted, please feel free to ask.

Thanks,

Mike

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3 hours ago, Ham & Jam said:

That 82nd one is sweet,I love the QM label in the previous,manufactured before the Titanic sank lol  :o.

Thank you. I am in the process of trying to find something about this variation of 82nd patch and hopefully something comes up. The early uniform is really neat in the fact it turns 104 years old tomorrow. Crazy to think something like that has lasted as long as it has.

-Mike

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16 hours ago, Mitter2k1 said:

Here is one of the uniforms that I picked up over the weekend. Unfortunately it is not named as it would make a great research project. This is a 29th Division uniform to a guy that was in Company B of one of the Machine Gun battalions. It has 3 overseas service chevrons and unfortunately, it is not named. 

Thanks,

Mike

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WOW!!!!!!

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