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1890 Fatigue Blouse


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I thought I would start my first day here by sharing my most recent acquisition. This is what I believe to be an 1890 pattern infantry Lieutenants fatigue blouse. This blouse only has one interior pocket. According to Douglas C McChristian in his book Uniforms, Arms, and Equipment: The US Army On The Western Frontier 1880-1892 "The first 2000 blouses of this style, made as a trial in the spring of 1890, had only one inside breast pocket located on the left side." In the right sleeve you can see the remnants of what appears to be a depot inspector's stamp, sadly it is too far gone to make anything out on it. Unfortunately there is no name inside the coat to identify who it belonged to.

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Thank you kwc271! I had a nice Colonel of the inspector general's office 1895 undress uniform with trousers but I sold it recently. They are very neat uniforms but it did not really fit into my collection at the time. They seem to come up pretty regularly and the Colonel's Cache has several nice ones listed right now. I can't tell if they are earlier or later examples from the pictures though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

great blouse indeed with those shoulder straps! I like it very much. I've got years ago a 1890 pattern blouse, it's one having Cavalry corporal's chevrons and a satin-like lining that, could be a sort of little personalisation - I think the original lining must be made of wool flannel.

Will post some pics.

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Hello again,

 

just to point out an ovbious detail we all know well - to take good photos at anything of a blue-dyed fabric is challenging, to say the least. Tried many times, but it's not easy to obtain decent results. If under sunlight it will be 'burned' too whitish, if under generally uniform lighting the blue won't always render the correct hue, if under camera flash sometimes it can achieve a more correct one but not always.

However hope these will appear somehow nice. Greetings from Italy - Franco.

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I really like the look of your coat it is an amazing example in very nice condition. I love the way you were able to photograph it so you can see the blue, my pictures never turn out that well. The gauntlets are an amazing addition to the display. Thanks for sharing!

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Thanx, really glad you appreciate.

 

So, you and me both own one of those 2,000 (NOT more!!) Pattern 1890 blouses of the 1st subvariation. Not bad at all !!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Yes gloves are very nice, they're the 2nd Pattern (1886). I've got the 1st Pattern as well, 1884 - a very tad oiled and dirtier, but solid though. Here some more pics.

 

btw, compliments agauin for your blouse. Those Lieutnant's epaulets are everything!! Franco.

 

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Wow, that is one great display you have there! My ultimate goal is to have a complete uniform display for infantry, artillery, and cavalry both dress and undress. I wonder if mine, being an officers uniform, was private purchased and does not fall into the 2000 trial blouses?

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Thanx for appreciating.

 

I too, had carefully read McChristian's book and my personal opinion is that once arrived at the late 1880s - early 1890s the privates, NCOs and officers alike had a (relatively) high degree of freedom in customizing their blouses, especially about the lining - material and/or color - and some extra 'touches' outside.

But do not know whether they could privately purchase such a piece of clothing as well. One thing could have been a campaign hat, (straw, fur, etc.) or a shirt for underwear, another thing was the blouse itself that, IMO, at the time had reached high standards in quality even if obtained through the official govt. channels. Moreover, blouse design of a given pattern was exactly the same for all branches, so an officer's blouse much likely didn't exist as such.

 

It should be the officers' shoulder straps or NCO's chevrons, once sewn on, that made the blouse one for a Lieutnant or one for a First Sergeant, but nothing more - this my opinion.

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Thank you for sharing it. Are all the pieces owned by the same soldier?

 

That is an excellent point. It does appear that the uniforms were not very "uniform" especially in the harsher, dusty climate of the frontier where the conditions caused uniforms to wear out quickly. My blouse does seem to have all of the qualities described by McChristian so it is entirely possible/probable that it was either purchased or issued from the quartermaster. I'm sure that in the more remote areas there would not be a lot of chances to go to the tailor and custom order a shirt. So we know where 2 of the 2000 trial blouses are. I'm curious how many of them survived.

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Hello,

 

the blouse could be a bit less than never worn, or so it seems to me. The two pair gloves were purchased elsewhere in different instances, same thing for the hat and canteen - who knows who their original owners were. It was noteworthy being able to get them, along 3-4 years, some of them back then in times of non-Internet.

Some time ago I've got a M-1860 cavalry saber as well, and within a couple weeks should finally be able to get an original 2nd Model S&W 'Schofield revolver, this from the March 1875 govt. contract - the closest I'll ever go to an original (and, very good condition) US Cavalry issue revolver from the Indian Wars period.

 

Of course no chances for me to reach any martially-marked Colt M-1873, the very few available out there are worth a nice car's price (unless you are happy with a true relic) and the fakes do abound. Thus the Schofield would be representative of a Cavalryman's handgun, much likely a lesser known one - yet back then procured and delivered in about 8,250 pieces.

btw, yes, at least we know the whereabouts of 2 out of 2,000 Pattern 1890 blouses - better than nothing :lol:

 

Franco.

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It's a great display and everything looks to be in museum quality condition. I have looked at and hesitated on a couple of pairs of gauntlets and wish I didn't now as they are becoming difficult to find.

 

I have an 1840 wristbreaker cavalry saber that was made by CR Kirschbaum that has the more rare knights head stamp. I have not ventured into firearms yet but would like to procure some for my displays eventually. Please keep us posted on the Schofield. I would love to find an 1873 Colt revolver as well but they are too pricey for me.

 

Definitely good to know where .001% are at least, LOL.

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Yes ah ah... :dry:

 

* firearms meant for use of US Cavalry, or at least bearing comproved martial markings by US Govt. are somehow a sort of minefield in my opinion (but, not only mine), be they a Springfield carbine, a Colt 1873 or a Schofield revolver - too many messed-up pieces out there or half-fakes, and a great deal of caution is needed. Also, very good thing if one is able to temporarily have the real stuff in his own hands while a truly competent guy tells him the most important details one by one.

 

Will post Schofield pics once getting it, possibly next week. S/n'd 50xx (contract of March 1875 for 3,000 pieces of 2nd Model) and in truly excellent shape, virtually perfect. The gunshop owner here in Italy who has sold it to me also asked if I'm interested in a fantastic US-marked Cavalry Colt 1873, the first and possibly the last one I'll ever be able to keep in my hand for a couple minutes... something incredible, one piece of history with s/n around 114,000 (springtime 1884) 100% original and untouched, and 75% of original finish still on.

He would sell it at equivalent of around USD 22,500... I replied I'll promptly buy it, but in another life - for now I'm happy with the Schofield (equivalent to three and half monthly pays of mine, the thing done along seven months).

 

To next one and some photos of it.

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"I too, had carefully read McChristian's book and my personal opinion is that once arrived at the late 1880s - early 1890s the privates, NCOs and officers alike had a (relatively) high degree of freedom in customizing their blouses, especially about the lining - material and/or color - and some extra 'touches' outside.

But do not know whether they could privately purchase such a piece of clothing as well. One thing could have been a campaign hat, (straw, fur, etc.) or a shirt for underwear, another thing was the blouse itself that, IMO, at the time had reached high standards in quality even if obtained through the official govt. channels"

 

Hello

There was a lot of non standard clothing options at that time, and as far as getting tailoring on the frontier there were "Camp Followers" ie; laundresses and cooks and I am sure the officers wives would do tailoring to supplement incomes.

 

Here is a photo in my collection of a possible mounted infantry studio shot of a soldier with quite a bit of "non standard" items, notice the Schofield in his belt as well.

 

 

 

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Thanks
Don

....The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

 

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