American picklehaube

Sten

New member
Gentleman i'm sure there is a thread on this subject in the archives. Maybe someone could shed some light on this for me i understand there was an American picklehaube for a few short years for parade dress only ? Is it true it fell out of favor when the franco-prussian war started? they must be really scarce i'd like to see a photo if available.thanks
sten
 

J.LeBrasseur

Administrator
Sten- clik on this link for an article on the helmets you are askign about, fellow member Joe did a good job on it!

James

http://www.pickelhauben.net/articles/AmericanPickelhaube.htm
 

Sten

New member
Thank you it was very interesting i did not know that about the eagles head being turned for war or peace, now that would be a great find, thanks again
 

Lost Skeleton

Active member
I also had a look at the article. For the record, the American eagle clutches an olive branch in its right talon, not oak leaves.

Chas.
 

Tony without Kaiser

Departed
Staff member
Lost Skeleton said:
// the American eagle clutches an olive branch in its right talon//
Do any of you Americans know why an olive branch was chosen? Just curious. Also, Sten I posted a photo of one of these helmets in THIS thread. its a great photo, not mine though.
 
Tony: The olive branch symbolizes peace and its use in certain U.S. military insignia is derived from the Coat of Arms of the United States. This link provides a short article on the coat of arms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Seal_of_the_United_States

Reservist1
 

Gustaf

Well-known member
Staff member
The olive branch has roots that go back much further that The United States.
Gus
 
The Wikipedia article I cited also discusses the biblical and ancient Greek symbolism of the olive branch. In the article click on the high lighted "olive branch" in the third line of the section titled Obverse.

Reservist1
 

Sten

New member
yes i see that now , thanks... i went to an olive oil factory in northern italy last october it is mechanized now but back in those days it must have been super labor intensive and a large part of the economy so if everyone is toiling with the olives and drinking wine they may be less inclined to make war and keep the production going.
 

joerookery

Active member
4. In 1926, the insignia was made in pairs with the head of the eagle facing to the front when worn. This was the first reference to the insignia being made in pairs. To do this, the eagle’s head was reversed on one insignia – the insignia worn on the right shoulder had the eagle’s head facing the laurel branch. On the left shoulder, the eagle’s head faced the arrows. The insignia with the eagle’s head facing the arrow became known by the term "war eagle".

5. In 1951, the insignia was redesigned so that the eagle’s head faced the laurel branch on both the left and right shoulder insignia with the arrows to the rear on both insignia.

6. The so called "war eagle" is no longer authorized for wear on the uniform.

It was also during the First World War that a tradition developed in that Colonels would wear the eagle insignia with the head pointing outwards from the neck as if to “face the enemy”. This was in contrast to the Army uniform regulations of the time, which stated that the eagle would be worn on the left collar, with the beak of the eagle facing inwards towards the wearer’s neck. Photographic evidence and service records from the Military Personnel Records Center indicate that this tradition lasted into the Second World War, after which time more strict uniform regulations prevented Colonels from reversing the insignia in this fashion. The United States Navy, however, also picked up on this tradition and Midshipmen today are taught that during times of war Navy Captains will reverse their collar insignia (which is the same eagle insignia as that of Colonel) in order to have the eagle facing the enemies of the United States.
 

Lost Skeleton

Active member
joerookery said:
4. In 1926, the insignia was made in pairs with the head of the eagle facing to the front when worn. This was the first reference to the insignia being made in pairs. To do this, the eagle’s head was reversed on one insignia – the insignia worn on the right shoulder had the eagle’s head facing the laurel branch. On the left shoulder, the eagle’s head faced the arrows. The insignia with the eagle’s head facing the arrow became known by the term "war eagle".

5. In 1951, the insignia was redesigned so that the eagle’s head faced the laurel branch on both the left and right shoulder insignia with the arrows to the rear on both insignia.

6. The so called "war eagle" is no longer authorized for wear on the uniform.
Joe:

You appear to be quoting text from OFFICER INSIGNIA OF GRADE, COLONEL. Why not, as Paul Harvey would put it, tell the rest of the story?

Officer Insignia of Grade said:
1. The method of identifying Colonels was initially established by General Washington on July 23, 1775 when he stated: "…the field officers may have red or pink colored cockades in their hats, …". Although there is evidence that colonels wore the eagle as rank insignia in 1829 when they transferred the gold or gilt eagles that decorated their hat cockades to their collars. In 1832, gold eagles were authorized for infantry colonels because they were placed on silver epaulettes and silver eagles to be placed on gold epaulettes were authorized for all other colonels.

2. In 1851, the silver epaulettes for infantry was abolished and all epaulettes became gold. As a result, all colonel insignia of grade became silver. The 1851 regulation included illustrations which show the embroidered eagle on the shoulder strap faced the arrows while the eagle worn on the epaulettes faced the olive branch. Apparently due to the lack of specifications, the direction of the eagle’s head depended upon the manufacturer.

3. Metal insignia was authorized to be worn on the khaki blouse in 1902. The colonel’s insignia was described as a silver spread eagle. There is no reference as to the direction of the eagle’s head nor are there illustrations. The 1917 uniform specifications and regulations describe the insignia as a metal silver spread eagle, 3/4 inch high and 2 inches between the tips of the wings. It was worn on the shoulder loop, beak to the front, and on the right collar of the shirt with the eagle’s beak to the front. In 1921, the size of the eagle was reduced from 2 inches to 1 1/2 inches between the tips of the wings. The height of the insignia remained unchanged at 3/4 inch.
http://www.dodfire.com/graphics/Insignia/colonel.htm

I find the statements in number three above, There is no reference as to the direction of the eagle’s head nor are there illustrations., and, Apparently due to the lack of specifications, the direction of the eagle’s head depended upon the manufacturer., quite relevant. With respect to the USN rank of Captain, I have two regulation 1897 service coats (Span Am through World War I) supporting these assertions.

I'll post pictures later today.

Chas.
 

Lost Skeleton

Active member
Off topic and picking at nits, here are the photos I promised.

Example one is a regulation 1897 USN officer's service coat (Navy Department, Washington, D.C., July 1, 1897). This pattern service coat was retired shortly after the First World War and replaced by a double breasted sack coat.

http://www.grandarmyofthefrontier.org/uniforms/usn1897.htm

The five pointed star positioned at the apex of the sleeve rank indicates a Captain of the Line, though the bullion fouled anchor devices are missing from the collar. The ribbon bar comprises the Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, Mexican Campaign Medal, and Victory Medal (all authorized for wear through World War One).

http://www.naval-reference.net/uniforms/ww1/ww1_ribbons_1.html

P1010906.jpg


P1010909.jpg


The collar insignia of rank (equivalent to an U.S. Army full Colonel) are matched (both eagles face forward as do the olive branches). Does this contradict the argument regarding "War Eagles?" It's far from conclusive, but it does support the apparent lack of a manufacturing standard .

P1010908.jpg


P1010907.jpg


Example two, also a line Captain, is complete. Note the collar rank and orientation of the arrows/olive branch.

P1010910.jpg


P1010912.jpg


P1010911.jpg


For further reading, I recommend:

http://www.naval-reference.net/index.html

Chas.
 
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