|The Doughboy Helmet: the Press Release (Stars and Stripes, 1918)|
Unlike those Poilu who rushed manfully to the recruiting stations in 1914 expecting some sartorial glory in the form of a shiny cavalry breast plate or stylish bright red pantaloons, only to find that the constraints of modern warfare would only provide him with a filthy rat-infested trench and a poor-man's concept of a camouflage uniform (light-blue wool); the American Doughboy at least had some time to figure out that he would not be as nicely turned out as his uncle was during the Spanish-American War.
This odd notice was printed on the front page of The Stars and Stripes while most of the A.E.F. was still in training. The word was out by this time that the Campaign Hats they were issued back home were out -and so to counter the gripes, the army printed this balderdash to put a 'nice spin' on the "tin pot".
It's not a helmet -- it's "a Steel Stetson"!
To read more about the old campaign hats of the A.E.F. click here.
A Puttee Cartoon (The Stars and Stripes, 1918)
The Doughboys were grateful to be issued European spiral-puttees in place of their canvas gaiters -which did them no good whatever in the dampness of Northern Europe; however, as the attached W.W. I photographs so clearly indicate (as does this cartoon by Walgren), not many Yanks were as proficient at wrapping them as the upper brass had hoped.
A.E.F. Knit Uniform Accessories (Fleisher's Catalog, 1918)
Photographs from the W.W. I era Fleisher's Knitting & Crochet Manual
which depicted the variety of Quartermaster approved scarves, wristlets, "helmets", sweaters and watch caps that were available to the Doughboys for service "Over There". In some cases the knitting instructions are intact.
Some might be amused to see that the photographer's stylist had used the 1902 blouse rather than the more suitable 1912 issue.
The Fifth Avenue Soldier (Advertisement, 1918)
The haberdashers of the Franklin Simon Company of Fifth Avenue, New York City, simply must not have been reading the many news reports regarding the horrors of industrial warfare. Indeed, their concept of coping with such carnage involved offering such sale items as silk handkerchiefs, cashmere socks and a dashing bathrobe for tooling around the barracks.
Click here to see what Brooks Brothers was selling During World War One.
American Officer's Musette Bag (Advertisement, 1917)
The attached magazine illustration is from an ad for a commercially produced musette bag for American officers during World War One.
American Army officers, like the men in their ranks, had no particular need to ever bother with a musette (we have learned that a "musette" is a small French wind instrument, not unlike a bag-pipe). The bag pictured here was intended for personal effects that would be needed while on the march: stationery,toiletries, housewives).
Due to the French prowess involving all matters military during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, the English language is lousey with French military terms, many of which are very much in use today.
Private Purchase Items from John Wanamaker (Advertisement, 1917)
Five photographs of various private-purchase American uniform items as they appeared in an ad for Wanamaker's.
Wanamaker's was one of the first department stores in the United States. It was sold to Hecht's in 1995.