1 review    

Original U.S. Late 19th to Early 20th Century Pennsylvania Military College Kepi by WM. H. Horstmann Company - West Point of Pennsylvania

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Pennsylvania Military College history dates back to 1821 when John Bullock, who established the Bullock School for Boys to prepare young men for “entry to college.” In 1853, the school became Hyatt’s Select School for Boys under the direction of Theodore Hyatt, who purchased the school, which had been renamed the Alsop School for Boys when Samuel Alsop became headmaster.

According to tradition, Hyatt found his pupils performing drills with broomsticks in the gym in the fall of 1858. He then introduced military training to “develop the muscles, expand the chest, and impart an erect gentlemanly carriage ….”

No aspect of PMC stood out more than a cadet in uniform. The uniformed cadet became a symbol of the school and clearly showed he was a member of an elite group. The uniform was also a disciplining force. The way he conducted himself in public while in uniform became the basis for how the public sees the school.

As early as 1862 the cadet gray full dress uniform became standard. The design was identical to those worn by the cadets at West Point, except for the buttons on the coats and the shields on the caps, which were designed by the school. Each uniform was a hand tailored garment made to measure using the finest quality cloth supplied by the Charlottesville Woolen Mills. This uniform changed little between 1862 and 1972.

To ensure uniformity in appearance and quality, all cadets were required to purchase their uniforms from M.C. Thackray of Philadelphia. Beginning in 1873, all uniforms were purchased from John Wanamaker in Philadelphia. After 1890, however, uniforms were made and supplied on campus through the Quartermaster Store and finally, from the William Bell Uniform Company of Chester, Pennsylvania.

Each cadet was also expected to have a “cadet gray” dress uniform of high collared, tailed coat with both gray and white trousers. The daily dress for classes and on campus consisted of a collared, long sleeved, gray cotton dress shirt, black tie, and the gray woolen trousers.” Cadets wore their dress gray uniform trousers and a gray flannel shirt, later replaced by lighter weight material. In 1963, a lightweight white summer uniform was issued.

From 1880 to 1902, cadets wore two different styles of caps with no consistent pattern. They wore the Kepi like this example or the Spiked Shako for both dress and non-dress.

The kepi is in lovely condition but age and wear reflect. The leather sweatband is worn, darkened and stained, as is the lining itself. The wool cap is surprisingly quite solid still with much of the stitching intact on the brim. The decorative chin strap is unfortunately missing, however, both of the PMC buttons are still present.

The front of the cap features a bullion insignia of PMC encompassed by laurels. The threading is still intact and tight, but has unfortunately faded quite a bit and darkened. The inside “disc” stiffener still retains the full manufacturer’s stamp as well as the college stamp:


William H. Horstmann & Sons have been manufacturers of dress trimmings and military goods since their founding in 1815 by William H. Horstmann. In 1828, he commenced the manufacture of military trimmings as a special department, and this branch has grown to most important proportions, Horstmann's military goods being in demand throughout time country. The firm had also executed large Government contracts in this line for the War and Navy Departments.

This kepi is perfect for the early Pennsylvania militaria collectors! Comes more than ready for display.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal, Amazon & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles