Officers' Caps


Doug Criner

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White Star officers' caps seem too small, at least by today's standards. Is this a matter of changing styles?
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Victorian uniform caps, as worn by seamen and railwaymen, tended to be quite "small", insofar as they had no overhanging crown. White Star caps, as worn in 1912, seem to have been of the "floppy pill-box" type (for want of a better description).
 

Bob Godfrey

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The short answer is yes, it was the style of the period. The opposite extreme can be seen in those huge caps favoured by the Soviet forces in the Cold War period.
 

J Burdette

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Dec 30, 2011
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I didn't notice until someone pointed it out to me, but in this picture:

Moodyj.jpg


Not the top wide round part, but the part before that (above the brim), looks like a bit of a tight fit. Like it 'hugs' the head.

Also one more thing. Why is it that some of the WSL officers had hats topped with white and others with black? And which of the two were worn by Titanic officers? All I can find are Olympic officers. I though I remembered seeing a photograph/sketch of Murdoch and Lightoller. One of the two was bending forward as if they were looking around something and there were some sailors behind them. I think it was in an Irish newspaper. I'll have to find the book I seen it in.
 

Doug Criner

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Thanks, Jake. Yes, that cap fits properly on his head, hat-size-wise. But, compared to modern officers' caps, it seems rather small. A hundred years later, it looks a bit strange to me. Just me, I'm strange.

I don't know about the 1912 White Star Line, but in the U.S. Navy, 40 years ago, enlisted mens' head gear were called "hats," and officers' wore "caps." I don't know why the distinction.
 

Doug Criner

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Also one more thing. Why is it that some of the WSL officers had hats topped with white and others with black? And which of the two were worn by Titanic officers?
Winter uniforms were blue and summer uniforms were white. (I think it is still that way.) Did the officers' caps follow that color scheme?
 

J Burdette

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I recently came across a section in Desperate Hours by Richard Goldstein, that mentions the captain of the Andrea Doria changing from his summer whites to his "evening blue uniform" . But then this is much farther into the future from Titanic and also an Italian ship.
 

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