Original U.S. Pre-WWII M1911 Campaign Hat in Excellent Condition with Artillery Cord
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fine example of a Pre-WWII M1911 Enlisted man’s Campaign Hat with a faded scarlet Artillery Hat Cord dating from the 1930’s. It is offered in excellent condition with signs of honest period wear and age. The soldier marked the inside with his initials which appear to be JVD. The hat cord is, as we would call, “rested”, showing evidence that it has been in place on this hat for a VERY long time. The internal sweatband has lost some stitching in places, but does not detract from the appearance of the hat. There is no chin strap.
The inside of the sweatband still retains the original manufacturer’s information:
FERRY HAT MFG. CO.
CONTRACT NO. 219-N
This is a lovely example that comes more than ready for research and display!
The Hat, Service, M1911 (Campaign Hat) was made of OD wool felt with a wide brim and "Montana peak" crown. There are ventilation holes in the crown with grommets, a silk hatband, and a silk and brass braid cord closed by a knot and terminated with a tassel. Inside was a leather sweatband and an attached chin strap. The Army model was dark brown OD in color.
The hat cords worn around the base of the crown indicated the branch for enlisted men and rank for officers. The system was similar to the piping colors for the Garrison Cap, copied from the Campaign Hat. Unit and rank insignia were sometimes worn on the front of the hat when authorized.
The Campaign Hat:
The origins of the hat can be traced to the 1840s when U.S. Army mounted troops posted to the far-west sometimes wore wide-brimmed civilian hats, which were more practical than the regulation shakos and forage caps then issued. The crease was influenced by the designs of the sombreros worn by the Mexican Vaqueros. The name started to be used after the 1872–1876 regulations, which introduced a black felt hat—which could be drab after 1883—for fatigue use derived from the types popularized during the American Civil War. Some were worn with campaign cords, mainly as a form of decoration.
At least as early as 1893, hats of the Stetson Boss of the Plains type were being creased into pointed tops by British South Africa Company (BSAC) scouts in Africa. When designing the iconic uniform for Boy Scouts, Baden-Powell drew on the hat worn by Frederick Russell Burnham, the celebrated American scout, during his service as Chief of Scouts in the BSAC and the British Army in the 1890s. The 1,200 Canadian troops serving under Baden-Powell were the first to wear the campaign hat as a part of their official uniform, and this very likely influenced Baden-Powell's decision to order 10,000 of the hats for the British troops.
A version of the hat, with a crease along the top of the crown, was worn by some US Army troops during the Spanish–American War. The army officially adopted the "Montana peaked" design as a service hat on 8 September 1911.
Through the World War I era, the campaign hat worn by American soldiers was fairly soft. Those worn by the United States Army's general officers had a golden cord around it, whereas other commissioned officers had a golden-and-black campaign cord around their hat. Field clerks, as well as their post-war successors the warrant officers, had a silver-and-black cord, while other ranks had cords in their branch-of-service colors. The United States Marine Corps had the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor badge in black at the front of their campaign hats; its officers had an additional golden-and-scarlet cord around their hat, whereas its other ranks had none.
By the 1930s the felt was made very stiff with a permanently flat brim. Due to the frequent wearing of helmets in France in World War I, most troops received a copy of the French bonnet de police that became known as the overseas cap. From 1940 onwards, the campaign hat was replaced by the much cheaper American fiber helmet. In 1942 the campaign hat ceased to be issued generally, but it was still commonly found in the Pacific theatre for much of the war, and was the trademark of General Joseph Stilwell.
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