Original U.S. Punitive Expedition Model 1912 Campaign Hat by Stetson w/ Infantry Hat Cord and Period Dust Goggles
Original Items: Only Ones Available. An attractive example of the scarce Model 1911 “Montana Peak” High Crowned Campaign Hat complete with chinstrap, Infantry Hat Cord, and period Dust Goggles. This is an excellent example of what a U.S. Army Soldier would have worn while “on the border” during the Punitive Expedition, or while chasing Pancho Villa in Mexico!
The hat is in excellent condition considering it is well over 100 years old! The fine fur felt is in very good condition, with no extensive mothing or damage. The original crown band ribbon is intact, along with what appears to be a field replaced chin strap.
The original leather sweatband is intact and pliable, with original stitching securing the sweatband to the body of the hat, though there is partial detach. There is no size label but the hat measures approximately 6 ⅞. In addition, the original Stetson trademark logo is present, as well as the distributor logo, but both are rather faded and worn, making them slightly difficult to read.
The Hat cord is sun faded and stained from dust, which is exactly how these would have looked after being worn on the border for even a short length of time. Traces of the original blue can be seen under the adjustment “knot” at the front of the hat.
Topping off the hat is an original period pair of dust goggles. The goggles are made with a leather body with glass lenses secured by vented tin cylinders. The goggles even have their original fabric securing strap. As the U.S. Military did not have an issue pair of goggles at this period of time, many soldiers purchased their own pairs of goggles to be worn during the campaign. Needless to say, they were a necessity for the soldier’s serving in the desert!
This is a fantastic opportunity to pick up a virtually untouched example of a Punitive Expedition Era M-1911 Campaign Cap with all the bells and whistles! A must have for the collector of WWI era militaria!
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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