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 Post subject: Whipples?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Location: NW Indiana (southern tip of the Lake)
I like the look of the Whipple hats, and I believe there is some reference to the sharpshooters using them early on (at least one company I thought). Is this true? Also is Dirty Billies the only game in town for a repro of them?

JP

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 Post subject: Re: Whipples?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:11 pm 
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Yes JP, you are right. The Whipple hats were issued as part of the Sharp Shooters first take in clothing. They were Grey Felt brimmed hat with a black bill in front like for a Kepi. You can see this in the Troiani painting with two Sharp Shooters. One wearing the winter garb and the other wearing the Green Issue Uniform. But you can also see a period photo called "The Bummers" of four members of Company "B" 1st USSS, Private John H. White is wearing a Whipple hat in that photo.

As for Dirty Billy being the only seller. I think so. A friend of mine from the Cleveland Area has one from him and it was a great hat.

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Last edited by KangViper on Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Whipples?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:07 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Whipples?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Whipple caps or "seamless caps" as they were known, are appropriate for impressions ranging from Camp of Instruction to around the end of April, 1862. The seamless caps and overcoats that weren't thrown away during the first marches out of camp were turned over to the quartermasters between April 15th and April 22nd. This would allow for some men to have had them during Yorktown but how widespread their use was once they were on the front lines is not known.

Dirty Billy makes his Whipple caps based directly on patent information I gave him several years ago. I got the first one he made and some guys in my old sharpshooter company bought a few more; I can't speak for my friends but my own cap went through a lot of events and looks pretty well used. It actually has faded to a light gray with a hint of tan!

There are at least three photos of sharpshooters wearing their seamless caps. One is an early war view of Sgt. John Schermerhorn, Co. H 1st U.S.S.S., with a nearly shapeless dark gray seamless cap, blue pants, and blouse. The other two men are in the same photo; John White and Frederick Johnson of Co. B 1st U.S.S.S.. White's cap appears to be brand new while Johnson's cap looks used to a point that the sides have curled slightly.

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 Post subject: Re: Whipples?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Thanks guys,

From the picture on Billies web page to me the Whipple looks like a cross between a kepi visor and a bowler with the brim turned down......are the visors on these leather? Or treated/painted felt? and the band around the crown, is it ribbon like a normal hat or leather? I have a hatter friend who is looking for some details on them for possible reproduction.

Thanks again.

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 Post subject: Re: Whipples?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:06 pm 
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Each of the originals I've studied have a variety of materials used in the construction. While I haven't examined the Leonard Small seamless cap personally, descriptions of it state that the body is a mixed gray wool felt, the crown band is thin leather, and the visor and chinstrap are glazed leather as per regulation of the time. Also important is the silk grosgrain trim machine-sewn around the brim; it's barely visible in the photos due to severe fading. Basically you will want a properly finished kepi visor complete with the binding on the edges...chinstrap properly made as well. While Leonard Small's seamless cap is missing the sweatband, a mint-condition blue seamless cap in Don Troiani's collection has an intact brown embossed leather band; very, very thin and nearly identical to other sweatbands of the time.

I will get in touch with my company's cap guy, Mike Anderson, and discuss availability of sweatbands, chinstraps, and visors. Mike does superb work and uses period recipes when glazing his headgear leather. If a source for proper gray wool felt blanks can be found, he may even be able to make a few up. I'll talk to him and report back soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Whipples?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:58 pm 
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Here is the one I purchased from Dirty Billy about 5 years ago:

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 Post subject: Re: Whipples?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:34 pm 
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Dave,

if possible could you post a picture of the underside (I am interested in how the kepi brim is sewn to the crown), is it lined inside?

Also how tall is the crown?

Thanks in advance.

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