1918 Raincoat, Foot
Specification No. 1317, adopted by the Army on February 20, 1918
Dimensions: The overall length of the dismounted raincoat varied, depending on its size, from 44 inches to 46 inches. The overall weight of the 1918 Raincoat, Foot was not mentioned in the specifications.
Material: Aside from the thread count, the two types of cloth used, one for the body and one for the lining, to fabricate the new raincoat were also not mentioned in the specifications. However, both fabrics were of a tightly woven and stronger cotton duck, with the material for the lining being of a lighter weight than the material of the body. Both were dyed an “olive drab shade”. The raincoat’s body and lining were waterproofed by the application of no less than eight coats of a compound made from various rubbers and chemicals. Once coated, the fabrics were thoroughly vulcanized to prevent the rubberized fabrics from stinking, softening or hardening.
Hardware: The front of the 1918 Raincoat, Foot was secured by four japanned “clasps and take ups”. Eight, 3/8 inch diameter, steel or brass japanned eyelets were used for ventilation, four under each arm. A larger number of smaller eyelets which furnished the same amount of ventilation could be substituted. Two “ball and socket” snap fasteners (one on each sleeve) were positioned on the hem of each cuff. In order to make the sleeve cuffs fully adjustable, one ball and two sockets were placed on each cuff. The new raincoat required three, steel or brass japanned, 24 ligne tack buttons. Two were placed on the collar to secure the “throat piece”. One tack button was also placed 8 inches above the coat’s bottom edge on the right hand side of the front opening.
Description: The raincoat featured a “standing rolling collar” that was 4 inches wide and of the same material as the coat. A triangular shaped “throat piece” was stitched under the left hand side of the collar and could be secured, either opened or closed, by the two corresponding tack buttons located one on either side of the collar. The dismounted raincoat also had two flapless, slash pockets with hand openings that measured approximately 7 ½ inches. The front of the raincoat featured a 4 inch wide “storm fly” that was 29 inches in length, which further sealed the front of the coat. The rear of the coat had a 12 inch deep “double back” which covered the eight ¾ inch diameter ventilation holes underneath that were cut through the coats body and lining. Each shoulder also had a “shoulder strap”, which was nothing more than a tapered strip of matching fabric that was both sewn and cemented over the coats shoulder seams to prevent leakage.
Contract Label: An indelible ink stamp was placed underneath the storm fly, between the first and second take-up. Each stamp was to show the name of the contractor, the date of the contract, the size, and it had a space at the bottom for the inspectors’ name to be stamped.
Size: The 1918 Raincoat, Foot was available in three sizes:
- Small ……. 38 inch chest … 44 inches in length
- Medium … 42 inch chest … 46 inches in length
- Large …… 46 inch chest … 46 inches in length
Photo No. 56: The three most visible external details that distinguish the foot raincoat from its predecessor, the mounted slicker can be seen in the side front and back views of this 1918 Raincoat, Foot which:
- Lacked the flapped patch pocket on the right hip.
- Had a storm fly that overlapped the raincoat’s sealed front opening. It began at the neck and ended just a few inches below the lowest clasp.
- It had a deep double back, which provided additional ventilation and extra protection from the elements.
Photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com