Help to Locate Forum for 18th Century Uniform

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Help to Locate Forum for 18th Century Uniform

Joined: January 2nd, 2004, 8:58 pm

August 3rd, 2008, 11:38 pm #1

Michael, I know this is completely out of the purvue of this forum, but I have been searching for weeks to find a forum, or even a book reference, that will help me to identify a uniform jacket that has come into my collection. The uniform has only sleeve buttons, which are 1836 General Staff buttons, but they don't appear to be original to the jacket. I can't tell whether this jacket is Canadian, British, or even American, but I believe that it is 1836 or later, and likely not newer than 1890.

I would appreciate it if one of those who frequent this forum would be so kind as to direct me to an appropriate resource. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Michael, my apology for using your forum for this purpose, but it is widely read by some very knowledgeable people. If you have to remove this post, I understand.

Dan

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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

August 4th, 2008, 1:39 am #2

I suggest two sources:

1) The New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, NB. The museum has an excellent collection of uniforms dating from the early 1800s and may be able to assist you.

2) Failing the above, you might try the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Often slow in replying to queries but they might be able to help.

DT.
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Joined: January 2nd, 2004, 8:58 pm

August 4th, 2008, 1:45 am #3

Thanks Doug and Dave.
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Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

August 4th, 2008, 4:14 am #4

Michael, I know this is completely out of the purvue of this forum, but I have been searching for weeks to find a forum, or even a book reference, that will help me to identify a uniform jacket that has come into my collection. The uniform has only sleeve buttons, which are 1836 General Staff buttons, but they don't appear to be original to the jacket. I can't tell whether this jacket is Canadian, British, or even American, but I believe that it is 1836 or later, and likely not newer than 1890.

I would appreciate it if one of those who frequent this forum would be so kind as to direct me to an appropriate resource. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Michael, my apology for using your forum for this purpose, but it is widely read by some very knowledgeable people. If you have to remove this post, I understand.

Dan

Try the Company of Military Historians (http://www.military-historians.org/).
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Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

August 4th, 2008, 4:01 pm #5

I shared the photo with possibly the most knowledgeable person in Canada for this type of uniform and his response is that it is "some kind of a theatre or carnaval costume."
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Joined: January 2nd, 2004, 8:58 pm

August 4th, 2008, 6:30 pm #6

Perhaps that is what it is, but this is a very old garment, judging by the mothing, colour variation and fading, and it is of very high quality and detail. A costume or theatrical garment is usually not made with such attention to detail and care. I'd rather spend some time on research. The photo isn't a very good one for making a pronouncement upon.

My initial thought was was to see if I could find the larger buttons (~22mm) to replace the ones on the front and rear, with buttons that match the ones on the cuffs, but the buttons appear to cost ~$40 to $50 each, and I didn't want to invest that much in them without knowing whether they would be correct for the jacket. As mentioned in my previous post, the cuff buttons are U.S. Army General Staff Officer buttons, which were designed in 1836, and worn through the time of the Civil War. Although 4 of the 6 cuff buttons could be original to the jacket, 2 are replacements, but authentic.

I would have guessed that a costume or theatrical garment would have used flat, inexpensive brass buttons.
Dan
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Ed Storey
Ed Storey

August 4th, 2008, 8:20 pm #7

Older established costume houses frequently used old buttons when producing their garments. Costume houses had access to large amounts of surplus military clothing and accessories, all of which was considered to be consumable stock that was to be used to support the production of motion pictures. Costume houses had so much material that they would frequently alter original uniforms in order to make other garments. In the past 20 years large numbers of military uniforms from the large established costume houses in California and London have been sold off and the military ones have been showing up for sale.

Although I have not seen the garment in question nor do I have any depth of knowledge in pre-1900 uniforms, I would suggest that you not base the athenticity on the buttons alone.
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Joined: January 2nd, 2004, 8:58 pm

August 7th, 2008, 6:00 pm #8

Thanks for your comments, Ed. I agree with everything you have said, and that's why I am looking for some resource suggestions for conducting research. I bought a couple of Canadian Boer War and First War uniforms that came out of a California theatrical company a few years ago, and they both have nice bold stampings on the lining showing the source. Unfortunately, there are no markings whatsoever on this jacket, so I have nothing to provide guidance in that respect.

Regards,
Dan
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