W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Museum Discussion => Topic started by: Ed Lecuyer on September 10, 2014, 09:24:48 PM

Title: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on September 10, 2014, 09:24:48 PM
I have received a number of comments regarding the outfit I wore at the annual picnic (and one week that followed.) As with all good 19th-century heritage items, they can be ordered in the 21st century on the Internet.

Here is the shop I think I got my particular shirt/pants combination from:
http://www.westernemporium.com/western.php (http://www.westernemporium.com/western.php)
Specifically:
http://www.westernemporium.com/store/oldwest_shirts.php?&type=Work%20Shirts (http://www.westernemporium.com/store/oldwest_shirts.php?&type=Work%20Shirts)
http://www.westernemporium.com/store/oldwest_trousers.php?&color=Black (http://www.westernemporium.com/store/oldwest_trousers.php?&color=Black)

I will say that the first shirt that arrived was not what I was expecting, and they exchanged it without any hassle.


They have a companion web site for more formal apparel:
http://www.gentlemansemporium.com/gentlemans.php (http://www.gentlemansemporium.com/gentlemans.php)

Other web sites I found (but have not ordered from) include:
http://www.premierclothing.com/Extra/21-home-page/ (http://www.premierclothing.com/Extra/21-home-page/)
and
http://recollections.biz/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=R&Category_Code=Mens (http://recollections.biz/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=R&Category_Code=Mens)
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Brendan Barry on September 11, 2014, 12:47:31 AM
Recent thread from rypn.org covering vintage clothing.

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=36957
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 11, 2014, 01:21:57 AM
I was thinking of that thread too Brendan.  Thanks for posting it here.  One of the things I liked about your clothing Ed, was that it reflected the actual clothes that WW&F employees were wearing in photographs.
This is a nice contrast to the overall attitude of wearing overalls (haha) at railway museums.  I think we do a nice job of changing it up with a variety of hats, clothing, etc.

Steve
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Jock Ellis on November 26, 2014, 03:30:00 AM
Those 19th century people knew how to dress.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Keith Taylor on November 28, 2014, 12:03:02 AM
Another good supplier is : http://historicalemporium.com/

Keith
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ken Fleming on November 29, 2014, 11:57:49 PM
All you need is a good set of bibs, a 1,000-Miler shirt and a felt-crusher hat.  Of course a good pair of high-top shoes.  That's what my father wore in 1914 as a brakeman.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Keith Taylor on November 30, 2014, 12:10:07 AM
All you need is a good set of bibs, a 1,000-Miler shirt and a felt-crusher hat.  Of course a good pair of high-top shoes.  That's what my father wore in 1914 as a brakeman.
Ken...that works great if you are in freight service, but the WW&F also runs passenger trains. Also at events where vintage scenes are recreated, the railroad also needs folks dressed in "period" clothes to represent passengers, freight agents, and customers that are dropping off or receiving LCL shipments.
Keith
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ken Fleming on November 30, 2014, 08:13:05 PM
Were the W&Q/WW&F trainmen in "uniform" service?  I don't think so.  I guess someone will have to hit the archives looking for uniform wear.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: James Patten on November 30, 2014, 10:58:33 PM
I can't say that I really see a uniform in the old pictures from any of the train crew.  Even the RPO guy didn't appear to have a uniform.  Instead I see a lot of overalls/coveralls on engine crew and train crew alike.

This is the reason I wear the "English driver's hat", there are some pictures of people with that kind of hat on the crew.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Wayne Laepple on November 30, 2014, 11:09:59 PM
That type of flat cap was quite common for working men a hundred years ago. I've seen many photos of men and boys working in coal breakers wearing that style of cap. Many of the Welsh and Irish mine workers wore those, while the various Slovak men wore caps that looked more like a five-piece cap with a soft bill, which were common in their former countries.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Mike Fox on December 01, 2014, 12:27:47 AM
A lot of the track workers wore pants and shirts in a quite a few pictures I have seen. All I am missing is the rope belt...
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on December 01, 2014, 05:33:16 PM
[Mods Note]
A sub-thread of bad puns erupted and can be found at:
http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=2368.0 (http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=2368.0)
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Philip Marshall on December 01, 2014, 06:21:41 PM
I've certainly seen pictures of SR&RL passenger crews (conductors and brakemen) in uniform, but I doubt the WW&F would have done such a thing.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Keith Taylor on December 02, 2014, 05:21:22 PM
Today I pulled out my copy of Two Feet to Tidewater. (Expanded and Updated Edition)
Even the cover photo which shows an engineer, aside from his overalls, is wearing a white shirt and tie!
Railroading used to be a very respected job and folks dressed to show their status.
On Page 61 the gentleman standing near the rear coach in the center photo is wearing a full conductor's uniform with cap, vest and saque coat. (a.k.a "sack" coat)
On page 123 the mail car attendant is also wearing a full uniform with cap, suit and vest. You can bet if the mail agent is in uniform....the rest of the train crew is as well. I can see on a "mixed" that the crew would be wearing bibs, but even there a white shirt and tie and uniform cap would be required. Even in the last days of the line, those in contact with the public dressed relatively formally. On page 209 there is a photo of mail clerk Orvis Bonney with a white shirt and tie.
Most of the photos you see were taken of the locomotives, so the people in those photos would primarily be engine crews who would be attired for their line of work.
Keith
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Bill Reidy on February 07, 2018, 10:44:19 PM
As a complete newbie on the subject, I am interested in learning:

-- What would be considered appropriate period clothing for WW&F train crews; and
-- What sources are folks using today for this clothing?

I'd like to dress better while in public train service (at least for our special events).  I suspect other volunteers would be interested in this information as well.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 07, 2018, 11:15:57 PM
Hi Bill,

I combined your question with a previous thread (pun not really intended, but I'll take it) on the subject.

I was looking for a new (old) shirt myself not too long ago, and was disappointed that the one I have is no longer available. I did find this one:
https://www.riverjunction.com/Laborers-Shirt_p_3789.html (https://www.riverjunction.com/Laborers-Shirt_p_3789.html)
at:
https://www.riverjunction.com/ (https://www.riverjunction.com/)
But I haven't ordered it yet.


From above, other sources:
https://www.historicalemporium.com/ (https://www.historicalemporium.com/)
http://www.premierclothing.com/index.php? (http://www.premierclothing.com/index.php?)
https://recollections.biz/ (https://recollections.biz/) (Womens clothes)

And some others from the RYPN thread:
http://www.rmconnection.com/Dickies.htm#engineer (http://www.rmconnection.com/Dickies.htm#engineer)
https://lcking.com (https://lcking.com)
https://www.round-house.com/ (https://www.round-house.com/)
https://www.keyapparel.com/ (https://www.keyapparel.com/)
https://www.filson.com/ (https://www.filson.com/)
http://www.millerhats.com/catalog/index.php?catText=Caps%20-%20Rail%20Road%20&catID=95 (http://www.millerhats.com/catalog/index.php?catText=Caps%20-%20Rail%20Road%20&catID=95)
https://www.stormykromer.com/ (https://www.stormykromer.com/)
https://workingperson.com/workwear-brands/kromer-hats-caps.html (https://workingperson.com/workwear-brands/kromer-hats-caps.html)
https://www.ebay.com/sch/zasu/m.html (https://www.ebay.com/sch/zasu/m.html)
http://www.misterfreedom.com/workman-pincheck.html (http://www.misterfreedom.com/workman-pincheck.html)

I recently purchased a new Conductors hat for myself from a vendor at the Springfield show. He does not have a website and have misplaced his contact information. He was located in Mass somewhere. It is nicer than the one linked above and (supposedly) an authentic design.

Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 07, 2018, 11:23:17 PM
Here's a great web site that was in the RYPN thread with lots of examples, dates, etc. of vintage workwear:
http://www.vintageworkwear.com/ (http://www.vintageworkwear.com/)
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Keith Taylor on February 07, 2018, 11:47:50 PM
Historical Emporium;   https://www.historicalemporium.com/

Great outfit high quality stuff. I have dealt with them and am a very satisfied customer.

Keith
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on February 08, 2018, 02:02:37 AM
https://www.allseasonsuniforms.com/

I highly recommend L.C. King (Pointer Brand) as well.

One of the things I notice from old photos of the railway is the variety of clothes reaches well beyond the typical denim.

Here are some interesting articles on the subject:
https://blairmountainreenactment.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/the-history-of-overalls/
https://vintagedancer.com/vintage/mens-vintage-workwear-1920s-1930s-1940s-1950s/
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Bill Baskerville on February 08, 2018, 05:30:03 AM
Bill,

I was told that we were targeting 1910, or thereabouts.  I looked around at pictures and put together things that looked like they were from that period.  This includes my bowler hat a la Ira style, which I now consider a Ira Memorial.  That I created from a regular black hat with an appropriate brim that I steamed and reshaped to the bowler style.  That being said, I know Ed Lecuyer found a source that looks very authentic down to the proper buttons for the suspenders and shirt materials. 

Now that my face is worn and creased I know when I wear my bowler hat I get my photo taken a lot when I am brakeman on the passenger trains.  Baseball caps weren't used back then.  Newsboy hats were the most common.

There are several conductors outfits in the house if you want one of those. 

On days that we are making photo runs, or tourist visitor days I try and dress for the duty that I have for that day, brakeman, conductor, fireman or engineer. 
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Bill Reidy on February 08, 2018, 09:32:15 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses.  I guess I missed the thread from a few years ago!
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on February 09, 2018, 02:07:00 PM
I have found newsboy caps on Ebay.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Joe Fox on February 09, 2018, 05:21:15 PM
Bill, I cheaped out and bought my jean coat at K-mart, and wear straight up jeans for special charters. Though not 100% historic it is very close. As time goes on, I will continue to improve my period era clothing.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on February 09, 2018, 11:14:01 PM
That makes me dream. I love overalls.They are so comfortable to wear. I've got a few of them . Out here believe me or not only pregnant women wears them.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 10, 2018, 02:54:31 AM
On a visit to the Drake Well Museum at Titusville, Pa. several years ago, I learned about a woman who worked with her husband in the oil patch in the 1920's and 30's. According to her recorded voice, she wore bib overalls backwards so that it was easy for her to go to the bathroom while out on the job. (No Job Johnnies at work sites in those days!)
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on February 11, 2018, 03:27:40 PM
Just found some of these great documentaries made by Sumner McKane, a Damariscotta native. Check out the trailers to 'The Northeast by Eastern", "In the Blood", and "The Maine Frontier" all of which have great stills and film footage that display period clothing worn in Maine and New England.

http://www.sumnermckane.com/index.php?/blog/film/ (http://www.sumnermckane.com/index.php?/blog/film/)
https://www.reelhouse.org/sumnermckane/the-maine-frontier (https://www.reelhouse.org/sumnermckane/the-maine-frontier)

Steve
Title: Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
Post by: Carl G. Soderstrom on February 15, 2018, 06:04:35 AM
In Allan's Mom's pix where the crew was unloading rail - that green corduroy cap looks familiar.
I have one I got back in '72 or '73 made by a husband and wife team (I was told in Maine? i do not remember where)
It is lined and has ear flaps. Mine is Burgundy.  I was also told they were making them for RR men.
We lived in CT at the time. A customer of mine used to visit Maine.
The question is - is someone still making them or is that green one that old also.
Title: Re: Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
Post by: Bill Sample on February 15, 2018, 12:32:25 PM
On one work weekend I asked Vern Shaw - who wore vintage-styled railroad clothes - if he knew anything about the hat business called "Hats and Totes" in Milo, Maine near the Bangor & Aroostook shop town Derby.  I had heard of it from a co-worker at the Conn. Central RR, the late Russ St. John (who built and donated one of the work flats at the WW&F).  Vern gave me a name - think it was Sandra Moore.  I went to Milo and tried to track the business down with no success.  As close as I got was some local said "used to be over there" pointing at a vacant building. Never could connect with Sandra.
Title: Re: Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
Post by: Carl G. Soderstrom on February 16, 2018, 04:20:40 AM
Bill
The name "Hats & Totes" tickles a feeling (that is less than a memory) but as I said
it was near half a century ago.

Of course I wear my WW&F hat when I go to train related activities. 
Title: Re: Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
Post by: Keith Taylor on February 16, 2018, 04:17:06 PM
On one work weekend I asked Vern Shaw - who wore vintage-styled railroad clothes - if he knew anything about the hat business called "Hats and Totes" in Milo, Maine near the Bangor & Aroostook shop town Derby.  I had heard of it from a co-worker at the Conn. Central RR, the late Russ St. John (who built and donated one of the work flats at the WW&F).  Vern gave me a name - think it was Sandra Moore.  I went to Milo and tried to track the business down with no success.  As close as I got was some local said "used to be over there" pointing at a vacant building. Never could connect with Sandra.
Ann Moore’s Cap and Totes
P.O. Box 104
Charleston, ME 04422
(207) 285-3472
Her line includes the New England Denim sweat band with striped crown and the corduroy with ear flaps.
Keith
Title: Re: Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
Post by: Keith Taylor on February 16, 2018, 04:26:09 PM
P.S.
Ann Moore used to work for the old M&W Cap Company of Brownville Jct. Maine.
I bought M&W Caps 45 years ago when I worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad. In fact I still have a couple of those caps!
Keith
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Paul Crabb on February 17, 2018, 10:02:54 PM
In an earlier post Ed L. mentioned that he got a conductors cap at Springfield from a company located somewhere in MA. I think this might be Modern Uniform Cap Company which I believe is in Taunton Ma. I'll see if I can find my records as that was where I got conductors caps for the Old Colony and Newport Railway here in RI. As I remember the shop is located next to the RR tracks and they were the supplier to the B&M who at the time (early 1980's) were staffing the MBTA commuter trains.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on May 23, 2018, 02:09:36 AM
Another website - contains lots of links to Amazon...
https://vintagedancer.com/mens-vintage-style-clothing/ (https://vintagedancer.com/mens-vintage-style-clothing/)
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on February 20, 2019, 01:54:14 PM
Hi All,

Just found these this morning. I really like the herringbone pattern chore coat I got from L.C. King (Pointer Brand) a few years ago. It was a factory second I purchased at the factory store in Bristol, VA/TN, so the price was right, however Pointer Brands regular pricing is out of my league.

I recently found another source for a similar Fisher Herringbone chore coat made by Universal Overall out of Chicago. They are now discontinued, but there are many sizes left, and the price, at just around 20 with shipping, is excellent!

You can get them on ebay from Youruniformsource here:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/FISHER-HERRINGBONE-OVERALL-CHORE-JACKET-NEW-UNIVERSAL-OVERALL-IR-1ST-QUALITY-/162636845739 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/FISHER-HERRINGBONE-OVERALL-CHORE-JACKET-NEW-UNIVERSAL-OVERALL-IR-1ST-QUALITY-/162636845739)

or through their website here:
https://www.youruniformsource.com/fisher-herringbone-overall-jacket-3 (https://www.youruniformsource.com/fisher-herringbone-overall-jacket-3)

Take care,
Steve
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on February 20, 2019, 04:59:07 PM
Thanks for the post, Steve. Just ordered one.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Bob Holmes on February 21, 2019, 12:34:34 AM
Steve, pardon my ignorance, but how does this shirt relate to period railroad clothing?  I would order one if I knew...
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on February 21, 2019, 12:44:44 PM
That's ok Bob! Here's the story:

So, the jackets you often see engineers, fireman, conductors (on freights, mostly) and brakeman wearing are known as 'chore coats'. They are handy because they have multiple pockets that are convenient for rule books, timetables, ticket punches, etc. They are typically made of the same denim as overalls and are often

I've seen some pictures of steam crews wearing them under oversized bib overalls like a shirt. I always presumed this is because they are wearing a set of street clothes and covering them up with their chore coat and overalls.

I really like wearing the Herringbone one as a conductor over my vest, because it is a little more refined in appearance compared to a typical unwashed denim one. However, I suppose you could wear it on the engine too. It's just has more white in it so it will show the dirt more.

Steve
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 21, 2019, 01:58:34 PM
Two quick stories about railroad work clothes. When he was growing up, my father had a neighbor who always left for work in a suit and tie, carrying a leather bag. My dad always assumed he was a doctor, until one day he was at North Broad Street Station in Philadelphia, and a train came in with his neighbor at the throttle in a full herringbone boiler suit. My wife's grandfather was an engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and he always wore a full boiler suit and a necktie. On the big railroads, there were locker rooms for the train crews, and I'm fairly sure they wore different clothes to and from work than what they wore on the job.

But -- if you look at the photos in TFTT and the other Maine two-footer books, you'll see that the crews wore whatever they had as work clothes. I do recall one photo showing the RPO clerk on the WW&F wearing a long-sleeve shirt with a tie. I imagine our local fellows wore the same clothes all day, without a change. I think as long as our train crews do not wear AC/DC T-shirts or Red Sox ball caps turned backwards, we're okay!
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Lennox on February 21, 2019, 03:15:37 PM
At one time many of the work clothes were of Herringbone design. When I joined the Marines in 1965, a my first set of utilities (the Marine word for fatigues) was Herringbone material, it was tough, lasted hundreds of washings and was quite comfortable.

Steve L
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Terry Harper on February 22, 2019, 12:51:01 AM
My Great Grandfather was foreman of a section crew on the Canadian Pacific line that ran from
Perth-Andover N.B. to Presque Isle. Prior to that he helped build the Bangor & Aroostook up through to
Frenchville.

The few photos I have, from the 1920's, show him wearing plain bib overalls and a light colored work shirt with stripped tie.
The rest of the crew wore a mix of everyday clothing. High L.L. bean type boots.


Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on February 22, 2019, 03:54:42 AM
Thanks for the note about the herringbone pattern work clothes Steve. Wayne, there is a book called Firing on the Pennsy by Paul Dietz who fired out of Crestline. He mentions wearing his regular street clothes under his work clothes. Not sure how widespread that practice was.

In the photos I've seen from the WW&F there is a big variety, probably partially due to the fact that over the Railroads 39 year period of operation from 1894-1933 there was a huge change in fashion- and I don't mean high fashion. What people wore- both to work and elsewhere- changed dramatically over that time.

I've seen photos of WW&F crews in later years (I'd say post 1920) wearing baggy overalls and work clothes and definitely a couple chore coats thrown in for good measure. Earlier on, photos show lots of pants with suspenders, ties and detachable collars.

One thing that has always interested me- has anyone seen a photo of a WW&F conductor or train crew in a traditional uniform?

Thanks,
Steve
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Philip Marshall on February 22, 2019, 06:04:41 AM
One thing that has always interested me- has anyone seen a photo of a WW&F conductor or train crew in a traditional uniform?

That's an interesting question. Flipping through Two Feet to Tidewater, I see photos on pages 61 and 123 that appear to show a crewman wearing a traditional conductor's uniform. However, the caption on page 61 identifies this individual as the mail clerk Charles Crosby, *not* the conductor. If this is correct, then I wonder if the extra formality could have had something to do with the mail clerk's status as an armed federal employee rather than a railroader per se. The pictures date from ca. 1902 and 1910 and show passenger trains rather than mixed trains.

Passenger conductors and trainmen on the SR&RL certainly wore traditional uniforms, but on the WW&F I don't know.

Title: WW&F Uniforms
Post by: Allan Fisher on February 22, 2019, 07:56:23 AM
Check out the uniforms in this Fourtin Powell Collection image
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Allan Fisher on February 22, 2019, 08:03:14 AM
Or maybe this image during early Peck era.
Title: Re: WW&F Uniforms
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on February 22, 2019, 02:02:57 PM
Check out the uniforms in this Fourtin Powell Collection image

Can't open this file.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 22, 2019, 02:44:17 PM
Quote
Can't open this file.
Fixed it.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on May 09, 2019, 12:52:33 AM
Just a heads up for anyone on the lookout for overalls, work clothes and the like that would be useful on the WW&F, I've had great luck with All Seasons Uniforms out of Woodstock, Il. Not only do they carry all sorts of workwear, they carry at least 5 different brands of bib overalls- at least 1 (roundhouse) is American made.

They have great customer service and are a pleasure to deal with. They also tend to offer a really good (if not best) price on what they carry.

Their number is 847-952-9860. You can also order online.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Bill Reidy on May 09, 2019, 01:07:08 AM
Steve,

Is this their URL?  https://www.allseasonsuniforms.com (https://www.allseasonsuniforms.com)

- Bill
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on May 09, 2019, 01:10:53 AM
Yes Bill - that is them.

I've also been curious about the condcutor's hat on the previous page that is in the Peck-era picture. It looks pretty much like a BR-era driver's cap, which are available.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on May 09, 2019, 01:27:49 AM
For the record, that would be what is often referred to as a grease top engine drivers cap.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Paul Crabb on May 12, 2019, 01:38:37 PM
OK I'm stuck. How do I find the conductors hat Steve referred to on the site?
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Paul Crabb on May 13, 2019, 12:48:13 AM
OOPS - Thought previous page referred to the all seasons uniforms website, not the previous forum page.
Title: Re: Sources for period clothing?
Post by: Dana Deering on May 17, 2019, 06:24:53 PM
Found this great resource:

https://vintagefashionguild.org/tips-tricks/quick-tips-for-dating-vintage/