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Top Gun: 1900

Circa 1900. "U.S.S. Chicago. One of the crew." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Circa 1900. "U.S.S. Chicago. One of the crew." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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All new gear

This photo is of a brand new sailor. His uniform is new, just issued. He has no piping on the cuffs of the jumper, which determine rate (rank), the "new" wrinkles in the sleeves and around the collar of his jumper also indicate it is new. He has no cap ribbon on his hat yet (ships name) which became mandentory in 1866. His lanyard was for his locker key. From 1886 until 1913, these were standard uniform articles for all uniforms, for all sailors. It should be (correctly) worn under the neckerchief. At this time, lanyards for knives and Bosuns Calls (pipes) were always black and were ships property. The fancy work lanyards we know from the 20th century (WW 2) era are not yet a style when this photo was taken. The 11 button trousers were standard issue from 1886 to 1911 when the sides of the trouser fall (flap) was deepened and two more buttons were added. The jumper was untucked in 1913. So, this photo is from between 1886 when this uniform became standard and 1911 when the buttons on the trousers were increased to 13. As a note, prior to 1886, the jumper had drop sleeves, the hat was 10 inches across and the trousers were actually fly front (some sailors had fall front trousers tailor made).

Duty done on the fly

The lanyard is no doubt attached to his bosun's pipe. When I was in we still had all those buttons, although the blouse was worn out so we chould cheat and leave a few undone on the top. When in a hurry, one just pulled the whole trouser front down to an "advantageous" level.

Hey, sailor

Is that a bosun's pipe in your pants or are you glad to see me?

When his hitch is up

A&F would like to hire him to model their new line.

You haven't added anyone to the Handsome Rake file in a long time, I nominate him.

Twelve chances

to say "No!" and not the usual thirteen.

BTW, a great pic!

The look of confidence.

It's a commercial for Enzyte.

Look out

for that lanyard around all of those shiny gears!

Who's got the button?

Boy, there was no waiting 'til the last minute to use the bathroom in this uniform.

Hard headed

It couldn't have been easy to use the head with one of those uniforms on. Pity the sailor who drank coffee regularly or had urinary incontinence!

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