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US Spanish American War, M1899 Campaign Hat

Price:  $595.00
Item #43854

Original era manufacture. Drab wool felt campaign hat, which was produced in a limited quantity to answer requests by troops then serving in Cuba, for better ventilation and airflow in tropical climes.

The army ordered 1000 examples with a corrugated spacer between the body of the hat and the leather sweatband. Further, large brass ventilators were set in the sides of the hat.

Of note, in the 1925 Bannerman catalog, they offer these exact hats by description; stating them to be of fine quality, with screen vents, and a corrugated liner to keep the head cool. Price, $1.25.  

Our example was recently purchased by a friend of ours in an antique mall in Prescott Arizona, in turn we bought it from him.

Dark drab wool felt, with a single large brass ventilator remaining, the other is missing. The letters "B A" are inked into the body of the hat just above the remaining ventilator. Original silk ribbon round the base of the body, with a bow on one side.

Originaly produced with three rows of stitching on the edge, our example has been trimmed down to a single row. Perhaps done by the original owner for comfort or style.

There is a varnished finish, corrugated buckram material, appearing between the body of the hat and the leather sweatband. The sweatband displays numerous perforations in the body of assorted letters, and on the underside, a white property tag from the St.Paul Minnesota costumer, Martin Giesen (operated 1872-1970), whose ownership no doubt allowed this rare old hat to survive.

The body of the hat displays staining from wear and use, but no moth damage, and on the front of the hat evidence of metal insignia once being worn.

I always consider it a privilege to be able to offer old campaign hats like this one to our customers. Being such a utilitarian piece of headgear, they were worn to pieces and thrown away.       

With thanks to John Langellier's book "Hats Off" Head Dress of the US Army 1872-1912, for providing such excellent background information on the 1899 Campaign Hat.


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