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ID needed--WW1 Cotton Pull Over?


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I've got two pieces in my collection that I am convinced are military, but thus far I have not been able to find any documentation. Theres a lot of pics, so I'll make two posts.

First is a khaki cotton shirt. It was in a foot locker full of other definate WW1 gear and uniforms of a guy who served overseas late in the war and through the Army of Occupation period. He apparently took advantage of that time to travel as one of the items was a canteen cup listing all the places he'd been to, including "Itley" in 1919.

The shirt has the exact pattern and method of construction as the M1916 wool shirt, but in khaki cotton

Links are dead and have been removed- drt, 5/21/14

The elbow patch on the right sleeve is missing, and there is damage to the cuff. A wool M16 shirt in the foot locker had exactly the same kind of damage. The missing elbow patch gives us an idea of the original color:



and turning the back inside out does as well:



Thre is also a tag that is the same approximate size and in the same location as the contract tag on the M16 wool shirt, but its completely faded and unreadable:



At one point, someone told me that this shirt was issued post WW1 for wear with the cotton tunic.
Does anyone have an citation or reference source that could prove/disprove that?

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According to the 1917 "Specifications of the United Sates Army", under shirts it lists:

 

SHIRT' (OLIVE-DRAB); As issued

 

SHIRTS, OLIVE-DRAB COTTON; As issued

 

There is no further description given and the same exact wording appears for both officers and enlisted men's shirts. Presumably the "shirt olive-drab" is the typical 1916 pattern wool flannel shirt and the second shirt listed, made from cotton was most likely a copy of the wool shirt.

 

I can't say for sure if your shirt is the same as the one listed above but at least this documents that there was a cotton shirt issued.

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I forgot to mention that commercial copies of the 1916 wool flannel shirts were available from all of the usual military outfitters and many of them offered shirts made in both cotton and wool.

 

Most of the non-regulation or private purchase shirts would be indistinguishable from those issued by the Quartermaster Department, except for the labels. Almost every private purchase WW I style shirt I have seen has had a color maker or brand label sewn into the collar annd the regulation issued shirts all had a white contract label sewn along the lower edge of the shirt, much like the one shown in the post.

 

Although this is not conclusive proof, it does suggest that it was issued rather than purchased.

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According to the 1917 "Specifications of the United Sates Army", under shirts it lists:

 

SHIRT' (OLIVE-DRAB); As issued

 

SHIRTS, OLIVE-DRAB COTTON; As issued

 

There is no further description given and the same exact wording appears for both officers and enlisted men's shirts. Presumably the "shirt olive-drab" is the typical 1916 pattern wool flannel shirt and the second shirt listed, made from cotton was most likely a copy of the wool shirt.

 

I can't say for sure if your shirt is the same as the one listed above but at least this documents that there was a cotton shirt issued.

 

Thanks for the quick reply.

 

I've had this for close to 20 years. never sen one before, and not since.

 

Any idea of value?

 

Any ideas oln the Daisy Mae here?

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...showtopic=44203

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I'm not sure what the value would be, but I do know that the isued examples are scarce and all of the cotton shirts that I have encountered were all period commercial copies.

 

I can't say for sure but I suspect that as America geared up for WW I, once the existing stores of this article of clothing were depleated, it was dropped in order to conserve materials and the majority of men entering the army were only issued the flannel shirt and those cotton shirts that were issued were probably worn until they wore out because I'm sure that they were much more comfortable to wear during hot weather than the flannel shirt.

 

I did look at your Daisy Mae hat but have no opinion. I know that the original fatigue hats issued were made from olive drab and brown cotton duck and later khaki and then blue denim during WWI and from what I can gather they were all made to the same pattern. Great War Militaria has several examples for sale on their website that you could compare to yours.

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Before the O.D. shirt the did wear a khaki flannel shirt. Your shirt has a few differences like the elbow reinforcements and the pocket flaps. I have seen a few shirts like this and they have all been non military.

 

Mario

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Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.

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I'm not sure what the value would be, but I do know that the isued examples are scarce and all of the cotton shirts that I have encountered were all period commercial copies.

 

I can't say for sure but I suspect that as America geared up for WW I, once the existing stores of this article of clothing were depleated, it was dropped in order to conserve materials and the majority of men entering the army were only issued the flannel shirt and those cotton shirts that were issued were probably worn until they wore out because I'm sure that they were much more comfortable to wear during hot weather than the flannel shirt.

 

I did look at your Daisy Mae hat but have no opinion. I know that the original fatigue hats issued were made from olive drab and brown cotton duck and later khaki and then blue denim during WWI and from what I can gather they were all made to the same pattern. Great War Militaria has several examples for sale on their website that you could compare to yours.

 

I have seen one photo reference on the web that identifies a Punitive Expedition 10TH Cav Officer as wearing a cotton pull over, but the photo was not conclusive. This does conflict with the previous claim that these were issued for the cotton tunics, but hour supposition makes a good deal more sense.

 

The individual to whom the foot locker was named joined the VT NG in 1916 right after the Columbus Raid and served some time on the border. This would explain his having an issue that would not be found with draftees and volunteers after the Declaration of War in 1917. It may be an explanation for the Daisy Mae. That one is a puzzler as the construction is different frolm the M1918 models that are encountered and reproduced. it might also be something particular to VT NG as well.

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I know that prior to WWI the soldiers in the Regular Army were allowed to choose between cotton and wool socks (which were both issued by the QTMC) if they were allergic to wool and this is pure speculation, but it could be that the men were also allowed to wear a cotton shirt in place of the wool shirt for the very same reason.

 

The fact that the man served along the Mexican border in 1916, where the summer temperatures in the American southwest commonly soared to above 100 degrees, makes sense that he would want and have a cotton shirt. I have photos of officers wearing private purchase cotton shirts in Mexico but none of enlisted men.

 

Here is a photo circa late 1916 or early 1917 of a brigadier general wearing what appears to be an olive drab cotton shirt.

post-5143-1243913437.jpg

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Here's the photo reference I found on the web.

 

The caption reads that its a "1916 pattern cotton pull over"

 

Its difficult to tell the material in both pictures. Perhaps I'm being influenced by the fading of the example Ihave as its quite light. The original color is a more darker kahki, with more "green" in it than the WW2 khaki uniforms.

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Here's a better picture of the general wearing what is probably a private purchase cotton shirt patterned after the 1916 style army issued wool shirt.

 

The fact that your shirt is closer to a green shade of khaki, rather than olive drab does not trouble me. In my opinion it probably has faded due to age, wear and laundering etc.

 

During the period 1902 through to 1916 the Army had a hard time coming up with a olive drab colored dye that remained fast (didn't fade).

 

Before WWI most of the dyes used by the textile manufactuers in the U.S were imported from Europe (primarily Belgium and Germany) but as the war in Europe lengthened the supplies of dye available in the U.S. began to dwindle. This forced the textile industry to use inferior domestic dyes and this caused a major headache for the Quartermaster Corps, especially when military commanders began to complain about the numerous shades of olive drab and khaki cotton uniforms (the shades could range from almost white to dep olive green) being worn by the men in their command when standing in formation.

 

I suspect that your shirt may fall into this category, regardless, the olive drab cotton clothing used by the military tended to fade much more than those made of wool (for what ever reason the wool fabrics seemed to hold the dye better than cotton).

post-5143-1243932468.jpg

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