World War 2 Nurses cape and garrison cap

Discussion in 'WWII' started by PaidInFull24, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Sgt Brown

    Sgt Brown One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    FWG may have a very good point there that the letter is a "H" instead of my guess of a "K". Makes a LOT of sense.

    Tom
     
  2. PaidInFull24

    PaidInFull24 Familiar Face

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    96
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Hey guys,
    Thanks so much for all the great info! Its kind of a bummer that its not World War 2 issued, but in my opinion its definitely still a nice set. If you guys happen to get any more information, don't hesitate to post! Thanks again!

    Regards,
    Nick
     
  3. Land-O-LakesGal

    Land-O-LakesGal Practically Family

    Messages:
    864
    Location:
    St Paul, Minnesota
    My husbands Grandmother was a nurse during the war. At funeral they had displayed a nurse cape identical to the one you posted. I think I have a picture of it some where from the funeral (a year ago). I can ask my mother in law more info my husband do not have specific dates for when and where she got her training.
    From my mother in law
    My mother in law has the cap and her sister has the cape.
    She received her cape in 1942 at the Mercy School of Nursing in Valley City North Dakota.
    She continued to Nurse into the 1970's she raised 7 children while working part time.
     
  4. PaidInFull24

    PaidInFull24 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Wow! What a great story! I would love to see pictures of the cape or cap and know more about her service in the war!

    Regards,
    Nick
     
  5. fortworthgal

    fortworthgal Call Me a Cab

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    Panther City
    I think the 1940 cap was the start of the women's shaped caps, when the Army was still trying to figure out how to make women's uniforms. The M-1940 blue wool cap had a different shape than the standard WWII women's garrison caps, which were shorter & more "banana" shaped. Supposedly this was to fit around women's hairstyles. lol The blue wool cap was shaped slightly more like a men's cap - the bottom was flat and not quite as curved to the woman's head, but the top of the cap has a distinct curve.

    There was also a special K-1 flight nurses garrison cap that was shaped differently, with the back of the cap curved down almost like a comma. Women's uniform collecting is an interesting area. lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  6. fortworthgal

    fortworthgal Call Me a Cab

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    I agree, it is a very nice set! Those capes aren't cheap, even civilian versions. The style of cape was worn at least up into the 60s or 70s so I can't really say for sure, but it is definitely vintage.

    All of this information isn't to say that it isn't wartime. My personal belief is that it probably is, mostly because of the military-style cap. During WWII, everyone wanted to get in on the war effort, and many civilian organizations adopted & wore military style uniforms. I can very easily see that cap being a wartime homefront item, given out/sold with the cape as an outdoor uniform for civilian nurses.

    It is naturally also possible that the owner of the cape went on to serve in the Army or Navy Nurse Corps. All nurses serving in the military were civilian nurses prior to entry into the military. Perhaps if there were a name in one of the pieces, it could be researched.
     
  7. Taikonaut

    Taikonaut New in Town

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    England
    That is a bit sweeping. Although I have seen male sellers trying to fob unaware buyers that it is military rather than civilian.
     
  8. Taikonaut

    Taikonaut New in Town

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    England
    I have a cape like that. It is not ANC or any of the major female military service. However it is widely used in the homefront stateside by trainee nurse during the war so technically it is military in that sense because of the war and higher recruitment.
     
  9. fortworthgal

    fortworthgal Call Me a Cab

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    Sweeping? I am a member of a militaria collectors forum, and I've seen those civilian capes mistakenly purchased & sold (usually mis-labeled as military on ebay) dozens of times.
     
  10. Sgt Brown

    Sgt Brown One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Nick,

    I would do to things at this point:

    #1. Sit back and grin because you have a very unusual piece there.

    #2. Start your research. Start with seeing if there is a "St. J" hospital in north central Ohio, say within fifty miles of New London. Then start expanding your search from there. She's got to be out there somewhere!

    Tom
     
  11. Land-O-LakesGal

    Land-O-LakesGal Practically Family

    Messages:
    864
    Location:
    St Paul, Minnesota
    My mother in law told me that all the nurses got their capes and caps upon graduating from nursing school (although I believe they paid for them themselves). I also think more nurses had to be trained at home to take the places of the ones going overseas. So more women were being asked to step up and help out at home as civilian nurses.
     
  12. PaidInFull24

    PaidInFull24 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Would the fact that all the embroidery is bullion help to date the piece at all? Judging by the quality of the wool and style of the cape (with the military-style cap, as mentioned before) It definitely seems to be 1940's-1950's, but I'm no expert. Was there a set time period that bullion was no longer widely used? The bullion is tarnished somewhat, making me think that the cape is not from the the 1960's-70's era. I did have a Vietnam-era officer's crusher cap that had bullion stitching on the brim, so I assume that bullion was used up through the Vietnam era? Maybe someone else can advise more as to the use of bullion then, versus the use of bullion now?

    Also, a question for Fortworthgal (but not to change the subject). When did wool/polyester blend women's uniforms come into the picture? I had an opportunity to purchase a women's army uniform and when I was unable to find a date on the tag, I did find a tag stating that it was wool/poly blend. It was OD, and it was listed as Air Force although I did not note a USAAF patch on the sleeve. I don't remember the exact composition of the wool/poly. I'll have to pay another visit to that antique store.

    Now, back to that cape and cap...
     
  13. fortworthgal

    fortworthgal Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I can't answer that exactly, sorry to say! Since I only collect WWII US women's uniforms, I only focus on that era and thus 100% wool. I can say with certainty that the US Navy used 100% wool for their women's uniforms up into the early 1970s (I believe 1973). But I am unsure of the composition of women's uniforms for the other services past 1945. If I had to guess, I would say probably late 1950s/early 1960s. I have seen several of the late 1940s/early 1950s USAF uniforms (the light slate blue color) that were 100% wool, and I believe the early 1950s Army women's uniforms (taupe) were still 100% wool. Otherwise I just have to say I really don't know. Wish I could be of more help!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  14. Taikonaut

    Taikonaut New in Town

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    England
    Yes so have I. Your sweeping statement is your reference to male collectors. Please don't take what I quoted you on out of context.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  15. milkywayfarer

    milkywayfarer New in Town

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    Location:
    Cornwall
    I think St J H is probably St Jerome Hospital. Quite a common name for hospitals.
     
  16. leairna

    leairna New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Torrance, California
    What wonderful answers and a wealth of information you all have provided.
    This is a bit off, but along the same line.
    I am bidding on a navy blue cape, with, instead of red lining, it is yellow/gold.
    I can't find any information on the color combo and if it was used during WWII, as a hospital nurse.

    Any help or insight would be wonderful.
    Thank you in advance
     

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