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BEST REFERENCE FOR PRE-WWI USMC UNIFORMS?


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#1 BEAST

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 05:01 AM

What references for pre-WWI USMC uniforms would the members of the forum recommend?  I have the 1912 Revised in 1917 uniform regs, but I was wondering what else is out there that is useful? Did Alec Tulkoff cover uniforms in volume II of Equipping the Corps? Is volume II even released?

 

I have also searched through the threads here on the forum using search terms such as 1904 USMC, 1912 USMC and found a few, but would like to find information such as in 19XX, the Marines switched to chest pockets with bellows, etc.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

 



#2 warguy

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 05:33 AM

Alec is working on volume II at this time, and it has not been released. Jim Moran put out a book on Marine Corps uniforms 1912-1945 several years ago. It is out of print I believe but you can still find copies for around $45-$50. It has some errors in it, especially the section on ega's but has regulations reprinted and a lot of photos (although all are black and white). This is an area where there is a great need for reference material in my opinion, and I am personally very anxious for Tulkoffs work. The era between the Civil War and 1912 is also not covered very well in reference books. There is a good book by Schiffer Publishing on Civil War Marine uniforms and equipment.

The chest pockets you refer to, is that on the green service uniform? I know the dress blues did not have chest pockets until 1945 when they were first introduced. If I recall correctly the service green uniform was introduced in 1912, and initially had only breast pockets and I believe changed two years later to include the two lower pockets. Kevin

#3 Brig

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 05:45 AM

Pockets for the enlisted blues blouse came about in 1947

 

Not sure if a all era uniform reference exists, am interested in hearing if there is, as well



#4 BEAST

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 06:08 AM

Thanks guys.  Sorry if I was a bit unclear with my example of the pockets.  I was trying to use that to show the level of detail that I am looking for in a reference book or books.  Looking at some of the references on the web, I have found descriptions lacking in detail. For example, the site may state that the Marines adopted a cotton jacket in 1904 but only go on to say that they continued to wear it through WWI.  No detail about changes in the specifications that occurred throughout the years.  If you have read World War I Nerd's threads on WWI uniforms, that's the kind of detail I would like to see.



#5 warguy

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 07:38 AM

I second that Beast, but sadly, no reference I know of captures that. I will give a good example,mi recently acquired a dress blue tunic with a straight stand up collar as opposed to the rolled collar worn and typically seen in the span Am war. This tunic is unissued and has the stamp in the sleeve lining as well as a sewn in paper tag dated 1898-1899. The tunic I think answers the question of when the change in shape was made to the collars of the blue tunic. I agree with you, this is the type of research and detail that is needed in a good reference book. I suspect Alec's volume two will cover much of this gap. Kevin

#6 Brig

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 09:13 AM

Uniform regulations would lay it out best, without reference images, however the Marine Corps has always been a strange beast, and there was always overlap until current stocks were depleted. This still happens today, for the exact same reasons...budget

 

To muddle it further, in the early days often, Marines just kept wearing their old stuff long after the regs changed. EGA regs changed, but Marines continued to wear old patterns...this is quite often seen with young LTs being commissioned with a relative's emblems, and continuing to wear their original emblems, particularly in the case of dress emblems, as they had spent good money on silver and gold. 

 

Here's a great example...notice the different size chevrons and assortment of covers. This photo was taken Christmas 1925, years after the bell crown fell out of regs...

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#7 warguy

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 11:53 AM

Great image Brig that definitely reflects that a change in regs didn't appear in actual wear over night. What is really fascinating about that photo are the Marines who took the time (and expense) to buy the new hat but didn't update their stripes from the old seam to seam, and visa versa, updated their stripes but are wearing the bell crown still.

#8 normaninvasion

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 04:24 PM

Agree with everything stated. Only thing to add, try doing some deep forum searches using different words, USMC, Marine Corps, jacket, tunic ect. I believe some of the info is on here, just buried.



#9 BEAST

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 04:40 AM

Uniform regulations would lay it out best, without reference images, however the Marine Corps has always been a strange beast, and there was always overlap until current stocks were depleted. This still happens today, for the exact same reasons...budget

 

To muddle it further, in the early days often, Marines just kept wearing their old stuff long after the regs changed. EGA regs changed, but Marines continued to wear old patterns...this is quite often seen with young LTs being commissioned with a relative's emblems, and continuing to wear their original emblems, particularly in the case of dress emblems, as they had spent good money on silver and gold. 

 

Here's a great example...notice the different size chevrons and assortment of covers. This photo was taken Christmas 1925, years after the bell crown fell out of regs...

Brig,

 

Great photo! It's an excellent illustration of your point.  Not knowing any better, if most collectors saw a display of a 1920's Marine wearing a bell crown, they would just write it off as a mistake on the part of the person doing the display.  Just another reason to collect photos of your area of interest.



#10 BEAST

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 05:54 AM

Does anyone reprint the 1904 and 1908 uniform regs?  I found the 1912 without the 1917 revision on-line and read through it last night. Also, I am trying to find pre-1912 editions of the Army Navy Register as sometimes that has articles and comments about the uniforms.



#11 BEAST

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 06:34 AM

I did find that on the website "Grand Army of the Frontier" (http://www.grandarmyofthefrontier.org/) they have posted many of the Army, Navy and Marine uniform regs from 1900 and earlier.  

 

Here is a link to the page with the uniform regs. http://www.grandarmy...er.org/regs.htm



#12 SgtMaddoxUSMC

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:28 PM

Brig, do you have a hi-res copy of this you could email me for study?
 

Uniform regulations would lay it out best, without reference images, however the Marine Corps has always been a strange beast, and there was always overlap until current stocks were depleted. This still happens today, for the exact same reasons...budget

 

To muddle it further, in the early days often, Marines just kept wearing their old stuff long after the regs changed. EGA regs changed, but Marines continued to wear old patterns...this is quite often seen with young LTs being commissioned with a relative's emblems, and continuing to wear their original emblems, particularly in the case of dress emblems, as they had spent good money on silver and gold. 

 

Here's a great example...notice the different size chevrons and assortment of covers. This photo was taken Christmas 1925, years after the bell crown fell out of regs...

 



#13 abqpropguy

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 10:59 PM

I would love to see a reference book as well with period photos and color photos of early USMC uniforms/headgear in collections.


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