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Thread: The Necessity Of A Vest?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mint Julep View Post
    So many assumptions based on a few photos and hearsay and some old fashioned etiquette books. This is laughable.
    Really? Laughable? Guess we shouldn't rely on primary sources...

    -Kyle M. Stetz

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloated_Corpse View Post
    ... no one can conclusively state that every single soldier, in every single army, would have automatically thrown away every since bit of excess clothing and equipment when they got tired or their packs seemed too heavy. An army of 80,000 men is an army of 80,000 individuals, no two of them alike...
    I agree that individuals do individual things. But it is interesting how individuals can follow the acts of a few and begin act as one. There was a time when the 1st Minnesota was on a road march and the newly formed units ahead in the march discarded their items in such mass that the Minnesota boys (who as veterans had lightened their loads for the summer) were able to pick up everything that they wish they hadn't discarded so that each man now had a blanket, rubber blanket, etc. as the cooler fall weather approached.

    I am not saying that all men discarded the same things but I think about my experiences. On a weeklong event, I was so sick of carrying my blanket in the heat that I nearly discarded it but knowing that I would soon be done with the event and would need it again there after I chose to keep it. Had the event been two more weeks, I would have discarded my $120 blanket, no questions asked. I was hot and miserable from the extra weight. Would I have discarded a vest? I don't know, but I didn't wear one because the heat was miserable. Did they discard them? I don't know. Maybe sent it home if it was worth it, but vests could be purchased ready-made and if one had a shoddy vest that was rotten from sweat and dirt, it wouldn't be a stretch to discard it or turn it into - dare I say, more useful - rags.


    To answer the question, no you do not need to have a vest to be accurate. If your jacket is buttoned, the collar of one's shirt, the buttons, button holes, and especially the jacket materials are much more important and obvious places to improve an impression.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCivilWar View Post
    Really? Laughable? Guess we shouldn't rely on primary sources...

    -Kyle M. Stetz
    Kyle, I appreciate the images that you provided and agree that we should rely on primary sources for knowledge rather than hutches or hearsay of rumors.

    Disclaimer:
    Kyle and others, I would caution one thing when we view images. Considering the cost and occasion of having ones image taken, it is reasonable (albeit, undocumented to my knowledge) to assume that one would display their best, i.e., combing their hair, ironing a shirt collar, checking their cravat in a mirror etc. In the image of the blacksmith, he wears his apron and proudly holds his hammer (important symbols of his trade) but his apron is down, showing his vest. He is posing for the picture rather than it being a candid shot. Does he wear THAT vest every day to work, or just on the days when he is having an image taken or delivers his goods to respected customers? Does he ALWAYS wear his apron down? Probably not, in the same way he may not have ALWAYS worn his hat when working, or ALWAYS worn that particular vest. When we view images, we have to ask if they are candid or posed, if posed, how much of reality is altered to give the best appearance?

    My thoughts.

    Nathan Willar
    ______________
    Sometimes I wear vest, sometime I don't.

  3. #33
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    Feb 2006
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    I kinda think we've beaten this horse to death a second time.

    I appreciate the period images, they show us that "hard & fast" rules are neither, as has been pointed out by Mr. Smotherman.

    It is interesting how a few years ago "authentic" events had rules specifying "no vests in the ranks." Some would say reenacting is subject to the dictates of fashion in two distinct time periods....
    Bill Cross
    Treasurer, The Rowdy Pards

    'In the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of tomfoolery can explain away anything that makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong."

  4. #34
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    I like to wear a vest, I have a place for my pocket watch, hankerchief, money and anything else i might need.
    bill shackell
    private
    Grays & Blues of Montreal

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by the other nathan View Post
    Disclaimer:
    Kyle and others, I would caution one thing when we view images. Considering the cost and occasion of having ones image taken, it is reasonable (albeit, undocumented to my knowledge) to assume that one would display their best, i.e., combing their hair, ironing a shirt collar, checking their cravat in a mirror etc. In the image of the blacksmith, he wears his apron and proudly holds his hammer (important symbols of his trade) but his apron is down, showing his vest. He is posing for the picture rather than it being a candid shot. Does he wear THAT vest every day to work, or just on the days when he is having an image taken or delivers his goods to respected customers? Does he ALWAYS wear his apron down? Probably not, in the same way he may not have ALWAYS worn his hat when working, or ALWAYS worn that particular vest. When we view images, we have to ask if they are candid or posed, if posed, how much of reality is altered to give the best appearance?

    My thoughts.

    Nathan Willar
    ______________
    Sometimes I wear vest, sometime I don't.
    Nathan,

    I sort of doubt that the dead guys, who were photographed wearing vests, dressed for the occasion!
    Bill Rodman, If you need a really bad example.
    King of Prussia, PA
    wrodman1@aol.com

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheQM View Post
    Nathan,

    I sort of doubt that the dead guys, who were photographed wearing vests, dressed for the occasion!
    We do know Gardner and others posed the dead in some shots. Talk about a stinky thing. And a good bloat would make getting that farby vest on soooo challenging....
    Bill Cross
    Treasurer, The Rowdy Pards

    'In the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of tomfoolery can explain away anything that makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong."

  7. #37

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    I guess you could say they were dying to have their pictures taken in a vest... <g>
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  8. #38
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    I figured as much.
    -Patrick Q.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by delawaric View Post
    My wife's Great,Great,Great Grandfather Gardner Woods sure didn't mind anyone seeing him in his "undies" when he posed for this photo. Heck he even has chest hair showing.
    I believe that this is not an undershirt. It's a knit shirt worn over another shirt, a style that was actually very popular at the time.

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