Original U.S. WWI Marine Corps M-1912 Campaign Hat with Early EGA Device
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a Pre-WWI/ WWI Era M-1912 Campaign Hat with the early “Montana Peak” high crown. This is arguably the most iconic piece of Marine Corps Headgear! Included is an early USMC Eagle, Globe, Anchor (EGA) Device which is contemporary, and correct, for the age of this hat. The EGA was on the hat and we received it, and we feel it has always been on the hat as it is pictured here.
The Campaign Hat is in very good condition considering its age. The leather sweatband is loose on one side, which could easily be repaired if one so desired. There is one tear to the wool felt around the base of the headband, but they do not distract from the displayability of the hat. The original ribbon is intact on the hat, which is a rarity for hats of this age.
Size is approximately 7 ⅛.
A very nice early example of a WWI Era U.S. Marine Corps Campaign Hat, ready for display!
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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