Original U.S. Army OD Green Visor Hat Worn by Phil Silvers as Sergeant Bilko 1957-1959

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. We recently sold a hat used as a costume piece on this TV show that was Khaki used in season 1-3, now we offer one in Army OD Green at was used during the final two seasons of the series.

Many of us old boys remember the "original" sergeant Bilko from the days of President Eisenhower. What a riot he was with his exceptional crew! This is an original U.S. Army Visor Hat from the late 1950s bearing old typed label inside the hatband that bears the CBS Television logo with:



The leather hatband clearly stamped in black:

CBS- 8501

Size 7 ¼ is in overall excellent condition having sat in a private collection for nearly 50 years the owner of which has only recently died and the collection disbanded.

The hat label reads:


Military Caps



Fur Felt

In gold on the leather sweatband you will find:

Tailored by



CERT. NO. 1-089-b

Also included with this hat is a photocopy of a CBS document that reads:

Memo – Wardrobe ( Sgt Bilko Show ) Tuesday 4th.

The following items listed below need to be pulled from wardrobe to be cleaned-repaired or replaced.

Please release the item to Kyle.

1 - Phil Silvers – Green Hat # 8501

2 - Phil Silvers – Tan Hat # 8502

3 - Paul Ford – Tan Jacket # 7822

(Please get the ribbons right)

4 - Joe Ross – Tan Jacket # 7816

5 – Jimmy Little – Tan Jacket # 8510


(name not legible)

What a piece of nostalgia from on old man’s childhood and maybe also from yours? They just don't make TV shows like that any more…

History of the Phil Silvers Show:

The Phil Silvers Show, originally titled You'll Never Get Rich, was a sitcom which ran on CBS from 1955 to 1959 for 142 episodes, plus a 1959 special. The series starred Phil Silvers as Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko of the United States Army.

The series was created and largely written by Nat Hiken, and won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Series. The show is sometimes titled Sergeant Bilko or simply Bilko in reruns, and is very often referred to by these names, both on-screen and by viewers. The show's success transformed Silvers from a journeyman comedian into a star, and writer-producer Hiken from a highly regarded behind-the-scenes comedy writer into a publicly recognized creator.

By 1955, the American television business was already moving westward to Los Angeles, but Nat Hiken insisted on filming the series in New York City, believing it to be more conducive to the creativity and humor. Early episodes were filmed at Dumont's television center in New York City – now home to WNYW-TV – with later episodes shot at the CBS "Hi Brown" Studios in Chelsea, Manhattan.

Most of the series was filmed to simulate a live performance. The actors memorized their lines, and performed the scenes in sequence before a studio audience. Thus, there are occasional flubs and awkward pauses. Actor Paul Ford, playing Bilko's commanding officer, was notorious for forgetting his lines; when he would get a blank expression on his face, Silvers and the rest of the cast would improvise something to save the scene, like "Oh, you remember, Colonel, the top brass is coming..." At that point, Ford would pick up where he left off.

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