Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A pair of ww1 bell bottoms with their 13 buttons representing the 13 original colonies.
Detail of the adjustable laced back .
Detail of the standard rough chambray lining still found up to the mid 30's.
Detail of the scarf's loop and the adjustable waist.The jumper had to be worn "blousing" over the pants.
Hand sewn star on the collar....
This typical ww1 rating badge,tells us the sailor was a 1st class aviation machinist's mate.Gotta love the cross stitching on the patch.
Larger view of the ww1 enlisted man dress blue jumper.
WW1 cabinet style picture of an US navy sailor proudly wearing his blues .Note the jumper "bloused" over the pants as per regulation.

There's very little literature published on the US navy uniforms in comparaison to the army and marine corps .That's probably because of that lack of information on the subject,that in some ways ,the navy uniforms are the most misrepresented items on EBAY .You'll find an amazing amount of 1960's or later uniforms passed as ww2 or earlier.Most of the time,an over zealous uninformed vendor,will come up with a nice story in oder to make a quick sale .Sad isn't it !?? Well !! i'll just say that nowadays you've got no excuses .we've got the internet and it just takes a little curiosity and research to improve your knowledge.So don't take everything for granted specially when you hear things such as :"i've got it from a guy,who's got it from a vet's widow..." Just do your homework and you might learn a little something and feel better along the way .
Today i'll try to give you some pointers on ,how to tell a ww1 enlisted man navy dress blue uniform,from it's ww2 counterpart .Few names come to mind such as :Cracker jack ,jumpers, middy top and so on....We'll start with the most obvious.
ww1 jumpers are made of a lighter weight wool flannel.You can actually see the twill in the fabric.ww2 ones are way thicker and made of melton wool .ww1 jumpers are of a much bluer shade than the ww2 which are darker and almost black.The ww1 jumper has a small piece of wool or cotton ,sewn to the front at the V of the collar for the scarf to be looped around ,then tied.That detail disappeared in ww2 .ww1 jumpers don't have any tags.The ww2 blues will have a rectangular "Naval Clothing Factory"tag sewn under the collar.Another easy way to tell them apart will be the rating badges on the left sleeves.During ww1 the jumpers had the eagle on the patch facing to the wearer's back.this changed in 1940,when all eagles had to face the front .Another easy detail to spot,will be the stars on the collar .ww1 stars are always hand sewn .ww2 stars on NCF issued uniforms are machine stitched .As for the pants it's a no brainer.The inside lining of the ww1 bell bottoms are lined with a "gros grain" chambray fabric and this,up to the late 30's .
That's all for today ...and good hunting


  1. hi patrick, i love your blog! it's great!

  2. thanks my friend thx for signing as a follower..cheers

  3. Just for info, the 13 buttons do not represent the 13 original colonies. Its just happenstance of changing manufacture of the uniform over the years. Im enlisted now, and this story still goes around. Funny way to twist up a modern sailor, tell him to count his buttons (theres actually 14 now, though only 13 show when the flap is buttoned.

  4. about the 13 buttons representing the 13 colonies ....well !! confirmation comes from the historians at the official US NAVY website .maybe you know better ......

  5. Stumbled on this post when I was googling for info on a WWII middy & pants that I just scored from a consignment shop!
    I am just smitten by your blog. Your photography is absolutely beautiful. Thank you


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