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U.S. Army knit clothing from 1911 to 1918


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#1 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:29 PM

U.S. Army knit clothing from 1911 to 1918



In the years leading up to America’s involvement in World War I the U.S. Army issued its soldiers with only four knit items to help keep them warm during the cold winter months. Besides the woolen socks and heavy winter underwear Uncle Sam supplied his soldiers with a regulation wool cap, wool muffler, wool gloves and a wool sweater all made to the specifications laid out by the Army Quartermaster Corps. It was not until President Wilson and the United States Congress declared war on Germany that army designers offered a few additional knit items but it was America’s retailers and the public who donated and sold a bewildering variety of different woven and knit garments that were all designed to help keep the service men warm.

Photo no. 01: These enlisted men in Northern Russia are attempting to dry out and warm up over a small fire. The man on the left appears to have wrapped a sleeveless sweater around his head and the other soldier wears some form of knit cap and is changing into a pair of dry socks, while his soiled wet socks are hung to dry over the fire.

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#2 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:35 PM

The 1911 Service Sweater


The 1911 Service Sweater was conceived by army planners to replace the 1911 Service Coat in wool for field use whenever the weather was too cold for only the flannel shirt. It was considered to be “neat and not un-soldierly in appearance” by senior commanders and it was also determined that the sweater would be a much more comfortable garment for the men to sleep in when necessary. When it was worn over the flannel shirt the uniform regulations stated that the collar of the latter should cover that of the sweater and all commissioned officers above the grade of 2nd lieutenant were to wear their rank insignia on the shirt collar. At that time 2nd lieutenants were not authorized to wear any rank insignia and the gold bars associated with that rank would not be adopted until December of 1917, instead the junior lieutenants would wear their branch of service insignia on the exposed shirt collar. The uniform regulations also stipulated that the non commissioned officers were to wear their rank chevrons on both sleeves of the sweater. When not in use the sweaters were stored in the soldier’s surplus kit bag (barracks bag).

The wool service sweater was adopted by the army in September, 1911 and was widely worn by both officers and enlisted men through to the end of World War I, most notably along the Mexican Border and on the Punitive Expedition into Mexico, in search of the Mexican “bandito” Francisco “Pancho” Villa. It was in Mexico that the service sweater won an undeserved reputation for not keeping the cavalry troopers warm, causing it to fall out of favor with senior army commanders.

Photo no. 02: This corporal serving in Mexico or somewhere along the border wears the service sweater neatly buttoned at the neck. (Unknown forum member)

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#3 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:36 PM

Photo no.03: Here the 1911 Service Sweater is worn by a National Guard officer, with the shirt collar worn correctly outside the sweater.

Because Mexico was considered a tropical country by the War Department the heavy woolen overcoats normally worn in colder weather were not authorized as part of the cavalry trooper’s field kit. Instead they were ordered to leave the long overcoats behind and to pack the wool service sweater into the saddle bag or cantle roll for wear during the campaign across the border. The 1911 Service Sweater, along with the 1908 Saddle Blanket was the cavalry trooper’s primary source of warmth and together they proved to be inadequate, especially in the freezing cold passes of the Sierra Madre Mountains. This resulted in severe criticism of the army service sweater, leading to its relatively short lifespan in the military. A seasoned captain with the 10th Cavalry who took part in the campaign, was very familiar with the cold clear weather along the Mexican Border and did not find the decision to leave the heavy wool overcoats behind a very practical one,

“We were ordered to pack up all overcoats and load them into wagons, for Mexico was a semi tropical land and wiser heads than a captain’s had decided that it was always hot in semi tropical lands.”

The 1911 Service Sweater was the only regulation sweater issued to the regulars of the Punitive Expedition and to the National Guardsmen who served along the border and later to the Yanks and Doughboys of the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.). The olive drab pullover sweater issued by the government was manufactured from eighty percent wool and twenty percent cotton and came in three sizes. It had a ribbed waistband and cuffs and a high ribbed collar that was closed by three drab plastic buttons. The sweater featured two open pockets in front, one on each side, below the waist which were knitted into the fabric and a white contract label, printed with the manufacture’s name, the contract date and a Quartermaster inspector’s stamp, was sewn inside of the waistband on the front left hand side.

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#4 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:38 PM

Photo no 04: Reconstruction of a Trooper, 7th Cavalry, assigned to the Punitive Expedition in Mexico, April, 1916. He is wearing the 1911 Service Sweater, which was a common sight among the troops of the expedition in Mexico and the men posted along the border.

Photo no. 05: This pair of artillery men try to impress the local ladies sometime late in 1916 or early 1917. The gloves worn by the man on the right are the 1904 Riding Gauntlets made from gray buckskin.

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#5 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:39 PM

When the United States entered the Great War there was a critical shortage of wool uniforms and overcoats, brought about by the rapid expansion of America’s army. Because of this army Quartermasters scoured the warehouses across the nation in search of suitable military clothing which could keep the men warm in lieu of the long 1907 and 1917 Overcoats which were now in short supply. The unpopular service sweaters left over from the army’s excursion into Mexico were used to fill this gap until the existing supplies were exhausted. So throughout the fall and winter of 1917 and the early months of 1918 the recruits and volunteers currently training in the camps scattered across America and the Doughboys who were already serving in the trenches on the Western Front could be seen wearing the regulation service sweater. The long sleeved pullover sweaters were worn by the soldiers of every branch of the military both at home and in Europe. They proved to be warm, comfortable and popular with all of the troops, thus redeeming its somewhat tarnished reputation. Despite the popularity and praise the regulation wool sweater received it never saw service after existing supplies were exhausted. As with almost all of the military clothing at the time commercial copies of the government issued wool sweater were available for sale during the war. They were virtually identical to those issued by the army except that they lacked the white contract label which had been sewn onto all regulation military garments since 1907; instead the private purchase sweaters usually featured a store logo or makers brand label stitched inside, usually on the collar.

Photo no. 06: A period advertisement showing a commercial copy of the army service sweater and a private purchase button front cardigan. (hhbooker2)

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#6 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:40 PM

Non Regulation commercial & home knit sweaters



Photo no. 07: Clothing and equipment for the officers and soldiers was big business during the war and many American retailers jumped on the band wagon anxious to profit from the military men. This cover of a Brooks Brothers clothing catalog shows just a fraction of the numerous articles all designed with America’s service men in mind, among the items shown are several knit items.

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#7 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:41 PM

Photo no. 08: Three veteran officers of the 13th Cavalry take a break from the pursuit of Villa and show the informal attire often worn on the campaign in Mexico. One officer wears a wool lined short overcoat while the other two wear wool sweaters, one, the regulation service sweater with three button collar and the other a private purchase turtleneck sweater. The woolen puttees worn by one officer were recommended by the Army Equipment Board to replace the canvas leggings in 1912 but were never adopted until 1917.

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#8 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:42 PM

Photo no. 09: A cavalry trooper wearing a rather un-military looking two tone, button front, non regulation sweater makes his report to Colonel Slocomb, the commander of the 13th Cavalry and another officer at Columbus, New Mexico.

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#9 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:45 PM

Photo no. 10 & 11: Show two more types of non regulation sweaters worn by National Guardsmen along the border. Note the half hip rubber boots worn by the sitting soldier.

Private purchase or non regulation sweaters of various styles were also worn along with the 1911 Service Sweater, usually at the discretion of the post or garrison commander. The non regulation sweaters could be seen on individual soldiers of all ranks serving in Mexico, along the Border States, in the training camps of America and in the trenches of France. The non regulation sweaters were made from numerous shades of khaki and olive drab wool and the styles and types available ranged from a simple sack sweater with sleeves to stylish cardigans with pockets, roll collars and a button front. The sweaters could be purchased from any number of specialty shops which catered to the needs of the military as well as the government operated canteens and post exchanges usually located on or near the military installations in the U.S. and in Europe. The sweaters as well as other knit clothing could also be ordered from retail mail order catalogs and delivered directly to the front along with the soldier’s regular mail.

Many of the non regulation long sleeved sweaters worn by the men of the A.E.F. were made by volunteers for the different relief organizations, which were made to a standard pattern that was pre-approved by the War Department and other sweaters were knitted at home by family members who were worried about the well being of their loved ones serving in the trenches so far from home.

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:46 PM

Photo no. 12: This wonderful photo of engineers in France shows some of the cold weather attire worn by the early members of the A.E.F. including the rain “slicker” and rain poncho. The enlargement shows two different styles of private purchase or donated long sleeved sweaters being worn by the men near the back of the photo. (New Romantic)

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#11 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:47 PM

Photo no. 13: These members of an unknown ambulance company relax safely out of harms way and pass the time by reading and writing letters. One of the men is wearing a rather small French style overseas cap and a well worn private purchase sweater with a roll collar and a contrasting color of wool was used to make the cuffs. (Can anyone identify the shoulder patch on the right hand side?)

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#12 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:48 PM

Photo no. 14: These two examples of long sleeved sweaters are from the Fleisher’s knitting and crocheting manual, printed in 1918 and show both a button front and pull over style of sweater that home knitters could make for their men serving overseas.

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#13 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:49 PM

Photo no. 15: Reconstruction of a 1st Lieutenant from the 356th Infantry, 89th Division just seconds before zero hour and the attack into the Argonne Forest in November, 1918. He wears a long sleeved home knit sweater under the wool service coat, which is visible at the cuffs.

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#14 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:50 PM

Donations from home


Photo no. 16: All across the nation the folks at home were encouraged by slogans such as, “Uncle Sam wants you to knit; Knit for the boys overseas and Knit for Sammy” and Americans of all ages considered it their patriotic duty to knit for the war effort and could be seen knitting for their boys and men serving far away in France.

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#15 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:58 PM

Photo no. 17: During the war women all across the nation were kept busy knitting gray or drab balls of wool into socks or other garments in their spare time. Here an advanced knitter performs the difficult task of knitting two socks at once.

Photo no. 18: Wounded Doughboys were also taught how to knit while recovering in military hospitals. This activity not only contributed to the war effort, but it also helped the recuperating soldiers to while away the long hours of what could be an otherwise very tedious recovery time.


During WW I the U.S. government asked the American people to devote their spare time to knitting wool socks, sweaters, mufflers and many other garments for the men and boys serving at home and overseas. Most of this volunteer work was carried out by women but Americans of all ages, including men and children took part in this campaign to help keep the soldiers warm. During the course of the war the American Red Cross alone, produced approximately 14,089,000 different knitted garments for the war effort and countless other items were made by family members and sent directly to their loved ones in the A.E.F.

In the summer of 1917 the American Red Cross went into the knitting business and launched a massive campaign on the home front. The Red Cross and other relief organizations put out an urgent request for knitted goods of all kinds to help fight the war. It needed a minimum of one and a half million each of knitted wristlets, mufflers, sweaters and other comfort items, but the most urgently needed item was wool socks. It began by teaching thousands of men, women and children how to knit; its supply bureau purchased one million pounds of wool and printed detailed instruction booklets and patterns that had been approved by the War Department’s Clothing and Equipage Division. The Red Cross along with other relief and charitable organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and the Jewish Welfare League organized knitters all across the nation to “Knit for Sammy”.

These groups supplied the patterns, issued and sold the yarn, collected the finished products, subjected them to a thorough quality check, reworked minor imperfections and any item which did not meet the required specifications or that were too poorly made were returned to the maker, while the approved knit goods were shipped to Europe for distribution. The National Office of the Red Cross kept track of wool shortages, quotas, and it notified the local chapters across the nation of the most urgently needed items. The patriotic women, children and some men all wishing to do their bit worked at home in social groups, churches, schools, neighborhoods and in many workplaces. Non knitters were encouraged to purchase yarn for those who did knit but could not afford the seventy five cents to buy the yarn. In September, 1917, the Junior Red Cross was established. Among other things it taught school children how to knit. The young knitters began by making simple square washcloths for the soldiers. The children were also urged to help their mothers and grandmothers with the household chores so that they would have more free time available to knit for the war effort.

Each local chapter monitored the volunteers who took out knitting materials; some knitters with good intentions, took yarn from the Red Cross but failed to complete the garment. Red Cross officers had determined that twenty one days was an adequate amount of time to complete the task of knitting a pair of socks which was considered the most complicated item to knit. Any volunteer who had the yarn in their home beyond a reasonable period of time was asked to return either the yarn or a finished garment. The Red Cross claimed that,

”If the yarn is held out longer, relief is being kept from the men at the front.”

Many different articles were knit by friends, families, students and volunteers; they included, helmets (knit caps), stocking caps, balaclavas, ear warmers, scarves, mufflers, long sleeved and sleeveless sweaters, mittens, wristlets, socks, washcloths, heelless tube socks and “stump” socks which covered the amputated limbs of severely wounded soldiers. American knitters were able to purchase patterns, instructions and yarn in many shops and they were available from the various relief organizations. The instructions and patterns were also printed in many period catalogs, magazines and other wartime publications. The color, quality, design and detail of the home knit goods all varied drastically, based on the pattern chosen, the type of yarn used, and of course, the skill level of the individual knitter.

The finished garments were packed and shipped to Europe at the expense of the relief organizations. Upon arrival in Europe many of the knit garments were issued directly by the Red Cross or other organizations, however, the majority of the donations from home passed through military supply channels. Army supply officers were held strictly accountable for the proper distribution of all the knit goods and they had to be treated exactly the same as other government property. Most of the knit items donated by the relief organizations had a label sewn onto it with the organization’s name (I.E. Red Cross etc.) and the city or chapter where the garment originated, and the label clearly stated that it was “A gift” or “Not to be sold”. Many even contained cheery handwritten notes from the makers encouraging and thanking the soldiers for their service. It can be safely assumed that every soldier serving stateside, overseas or preparing to embark for Europe, received some form of knitted garment donated by the folks back home.

Photo no. 19: Recruits check out the new Red Cross sleeveless sweaters that are being issued through the army supply system.

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#16 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:00 PM

Late in the war the scarcity of wool was such that all American yarn retailers were ordered by the War Industries Board to turn over their entire stock of service yarn (all khaki, grey and other drab colors) to the Red Cross. From that time until the end of the war all yarn for wartime knitting was available exclusively only through the Red Cross. One of the measures some knitters employed to conserve the amount of wool used was by making socks using cotton yarn for the legs and wool yarn for the feet.

Besides the donations made by the charitable organizations the Doughboys also received individual garments or sometimes, matching sets composed of a helmet, muffler, sweater, socks and wristlets, etc, all knitted by their mothers, wives, sweethearts or other family members, who then sent them directly to their men serving over there. A young girl wrote to her father, a captain, who was serving in France with the 30th Division’s 105th Ammunition Train. In the letter she proudly claimed,

“I have finished one pair of socks for you and I certainly enjoyed making them. When you wear them you can think that you are wearing your “Palm Beach” clothes (that is if it is hot weather) for mother sold two of your suits and we bought some of the yarn with that money.”

A large number of the soldiers serving overseas documented the contents of the parcels they received from home, many of which contained home front knit items. An ambulance driver grateful for the knit goods and other things he received from his family and friends wrote home saying,

“Today a number of packages came and I think they were the best assortment yet: 2 bottles of Horricks, muffler, wristlet and helmet (just in time; thanks an awful lot), tobacco and Fatima cigarettes. That was one of the most pleasant surprises in a long time.”
And a Marine corporal who was detailed to help with his company's Christmas mail recalled the knit items along with the other goods he received,

“I happened to snatch a package with my own name on it out of the rush and found it was a remembrance from Annabel. There was a fine pair of felt lined buckskin gloves and heavy socks, handkerchiefs, muffler, chewing gum and stocking cap.”

During the winter of 1917-1918 America’s growing army was woefully undersupplied with wool uniforms and many new recruits started their military training wearing only their civilian clothes. A raw recruit training during the winter of 1917-18 noted the lack of woolen overcoats and very much appreciated the warmth that al Red Cross wool sweater vest provided,

“Damn near froze to death. It went to 32 [degrees] and we have no coats have to wear sweaters under our shirts.”
The Red Cross helped out, by supplying the men training in the colder northern states with sweaters and other warm knit goods. As an example, on the day before Christmas, 1917, the men of the 88th Division training at Camp Dodge, Iowa received from the Red Cross 16,000 sweaters; 13,000 pairs of socks; 8,000 wristlets; 4,500 mufflers and 600 knit helmets. One military recruit who was made to work outdoors during the cold winter weather without proper warm clothing, took time to write the relief organization that supplied him with the warm knit garments, thanking them for their efforts,

“I never had any conception as to how much joy a helmet, sweater, wristlets and socks could bring into a camp until —upon my arrival here I was made to mount a snow pile and told to clear it away dressed in the clothes a chap wears in his home life.”

By the war’s end the combined efforts of the volunteer knitters in the U.S. and the charitable organizations had created millions of knit garments for the men and boys overseas; as a result late in the war there was a surplus of the donated knit goods, which continued to be issued to the men serving in France, whether they needed them or not. In fact, some soldiers received so many of the knit garments made by well wishers back home that they began to grumble and “kick” about the excess of sweaters and other things they were made to carry around in their all ready overloaded packs. A rookie marine heading into bloody Belleau Wood had to make some important decisions regarding what to carry into combat,

“The question of what to take and what not to take was now becoming a matter of importance to us green troops. I found that I was not going to have any use for a lot of things I had in my pack. There were three knit sweaters which I decided I would not need during the summer. There was a pair of basketball trunks which struck me as rather inappropriate at this time.”

Photo no. 20: This cartoon drawn by the A.E.F. cartoonist Albian Wallgren, was published in the March 8, 1918 edition of the “Stars and Stripes”

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#17 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:02 PM

newspaper and it pokes fun at the quantity as well as the variety of knit garments that were made on behalf of America’s soldiers.

Another Doughboy a member of the 33rd Division who likewise, had accumulated more than his share of home knit garments, noted this fact in a letter written to his mother where he complained about the knit items he was forced to keep,

“You are not selfish for wanting to see me get your own knitting but I have all I can make use of, can’t carry any more, yea gods, when a man has to carry everything he has, he don’t want a bunch of sox, scarfs, wristlets, helmets, sweaters and numerous other articles, quite as useless as some of them are.”

In fact during the final months of the war the number of men who fell out when on the march had risen dramatically and it was found that many of the rookie Doughboys were carrying too much personal property, especially souvenirs and donated knit items. A private in the 77th Division recalled GHQ’s solution to this growing problem,

“It was reported that several had actually died. An investigation later developed the fact that practically all of them were still clinging to knitted articles made by loving hands at home and orders were issued to discard everything that was not supplied by the government. There were many completely fitted toilet sets, razors of various makes and so on and what a neat pile it made in the Watten Woods. The British soldiers lost no time in helping themselves.”

These official inspections became known as “show down” inspections, where every article not issued by Uncle Sam was confiscated along with issued items, if the soldier had more than the list called for. If a soldier was authorized to have two pairs of socks and he had four, two pairs were taken away. An A.E.F. machine gunner noted one such inspection,

“At New Eperlecques we swung off into a field where we were subjected to the same show-down inspection that the infantry had undergone. All articles not issued by the government were discarded and while many of us parted regretfully with things we had cherished, our packs were less cumbersome and the inspection was really a good thing. Later in our experience as soldiers we learned a good deal more about travelling light and we gave some sound advice to replacements who were cherry about discarding surplus equipment because they were charged with it. “Ditch it” and “Give the air” were popular expressions.”

The show down inspections became common practice throughout the A.E.F. and they were conducted by official inspectors independent of each organization for fear that unit commanders would turn a blind eye, out of sympathy for their men and let them keep unauthorized equipment. The mandate was to confiscate any unauthorized personal property or excess issued items that the men had accumulated during their time in France, including unauthorized knit goods. The acting first sergeant at Ordnance Depot No.4 wrote home to his family explaining this practice,

“I certainly don’t want any more sweaters or socks; I have endless lots of them. Can’t keep anything here, an inspector is likely to drop in and take anything away that is not government issue. He took Red Cross sweaters from the engineers in Jonchery last spring. Every time we hear of the inspector around we hide everything. I have enough stuff to last for years.”

#18 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:04 PM

Home knit, donated & commercial sleeveless sweater vests


Photo no. 20: Members of Company C, 303rd Tank Battalion, Tank Corps, somewhere in France. They are all heavily armed and ready to do battle with the cooks in the chow line and all carry the deeper wartime mess kit, “eating irons” and the aluminum canteen cup. Two of the men wear the wool lined, leather jerkin and one wears a donated wool sleeveless sweater. All but two wear hobnailed field shoes while the other’s wear half hip rubber boots with the tops turned down below the knees.

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#19 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:05 PM

Photo no. 21: Here in this reconstruction, a Captain of the National Guard’s, 1st Wisconsin Infantry, stationed at Mc Allen, Texas, in 1916 enjoys his morning coffee and he wear a private purchase sleeveless sweater to keep warm in the early morning chill.

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:06 PM

Photo no. 22: Is an example of one of the many styles of commercially made wool sweater vests available for sale before and during the war. This sleeveless sweater was obviously inspired by the design of the 1911 Service Sweater and features a V-neck and two open pockets below the waist like its long sleeved cousin.

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#21 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:08 PM

By far the most common non regulation garment worn for additional warmth by America’s service men was the Sleeveless Wool Sweater Vest sometimes called a “jacket” by the men. The sleeveless wool sweater, whether sent by loved ones or provided by the various relief organizations were popular and universally worn by nearly all of the soldiers under their service coats and over their flannel shirts. One Doughboy that operated the heavy artillery used by the A.E.F. who served with the 57th Coast Artillery recalled the day his battery received sweaters donated by the Red Cross and left this description in the pages of his diary,

“Drew sweaters given by Newport Red Cross just before dinner. Glad to get them as it is getting cold here. All sweaters in this company are brown and are fine sweaters, v necks and buttons.”

The knitted sweater vest was simple to make and required little skill to complete. In their most basic form they were really just a large rectangle with a hole left in the center for the neck. The rectangle was then folded in half and sewn up the sides, leaving a nine inch opening for each arm to pass through. The sleeveless sweaters were made from standard patterns obtained through the Red Cross or copied from one of the many different patterns found in period publications or they were simply homespun by a family member. The craftsmanship and details of each sleeveless sweater varied largely depending on the complexity of the design and the skill level of its maker. The colors also varied depending on the availability of wool yarn, with khaki and olive drab being preferred, however, as the war progressed those colors of yarn became increasingly difficult to obtain and sweaters made from gray, brown, mustard, navy blue and heather colors became more common.

Photo no. 24: These infantry soldiers of the 80th Division sit for a group photo just weeks after the signing of the Armistice. They wear overseas caps and a mixture of service coats, wool shirts and home knit sleeveless sweaters.

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#22 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:09 PM

Photo no. 25: Sleeveless sweaters of different colors and qualities were frequently worn by the Doughboys in France most being donated by the different relief organizations or made by the loving hands of family members back home. (From top to bottom)

a. A well made home knit sweater of mustard wool with contrasting gray trim. Details like the fitted waist, recessed arm holes and the unusual shape of the neck opening suggest that it was made by an experienced knitter.

b. A basic and rather plain unfitted “sack” sweater of olive drab wool with a Knights of Columbus label sewn to the inside of the waistband.

c. Another home knit sweater whose simple design is of a slightly better quality than the one shown above. It is made entirely of gray wool and is part of a three piece set that consists of a gray wool muffler and wristlets which appear in other photographs.

d. The professional design and detail of this donated Red Cross sweater in olive drab wool indicate that it was made by a knitter with considerable experience. Note the Red Cross label sewn into the collar.

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:11 PM

Non regulation wool and leather vests


In addition to the private purchase, donated and regulation issued long sleeved and sleeveless sweaters commercially made olive drab and khaki wool fabric or leather vests of varying designs, some lined with fur or fleece were also sold to help warm the soldiers. These private purchase items often closely resembled a civilian suit vest and were worn under the service coat or over the wool shirt much like the sleeveless sweaters. This garment while seen in many wartime retail catalogs rarely show up in period photographs, being worn by members of the A.E.F.

Photo no. 25: In this photo of the “Baloonatics” from the 14th Photo Section, 1st Army, showing off the different cameras used by the A.E.F. for aerial photography. The men wear a variety of issued and non regulation clothing and a multitude of headgear; note that the soldiers at extreme left and right are both wearing commercially purchased wool vests. The garments worn by the remainder of the men include six different forms of headgear, wool service dress, cloth flight coats, and at least four different styles of overcoats and raincoat.

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#24 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:12 PM

Photo no. 26: Shows a grainy but closer view of the three wool and leather vests that are shown on the cover of the Wanamaker’s clothing catalog, along with their descriptions and prices.

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#25 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:13 PM

Photo no. 27: This page taken from the 1917 John Wanamaker’s clothing store Christmas catalog advertises a selection of wartime gifts available for the troop’s, including many different knit items and three different styles of the wool and leather vest designed to be worn instead of the sleeveless sweater under the open service coat.

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