With great relief, I am pleased to announce that we’ve successfully completed my presentation on American military uniforms entitled “US Army Uniforms, 1915 – 1918” at Costume College. Costume College is an annual three-day costuming arts convention sponsored by the Costumer’s Guild West and it covers all periods and genres. With the success of last year’s presentation, I decided to do a repeat performance and my proposal was accepted. Since 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of America’s entry into the First World War, I felt that this would be a very timely and appropriate subject.
The presentation was aimed at a general audience and designed to provide a basic overview of US Army uniforming of the First World War Era. The toughest part is that it’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of the various details of the various uniform items and lose sight of the men who wore those uniforms- the men who underwent what was probably the most stressful part of their lives. That’s something that’s not easily captured in a presentation some 100 years after the fact but I believe that we did a fairly convincing job of at least providing an overview.
I was aided by a good friend of mine from Co. G, 364 Infantry, a living history group that’s part of the Great War Historical Society (of which I am a member of) acted as a live model and was also kind enough to bring a number of original items from his collection and that went a long way towards bringing the history directly to the audience. It was an excellent supplement to my Power Point presentation (Power Point seems to be a necessary evil these days).
Overall, it seems to have been a success and I hope to able to make this presentation in the future. I am considering expanding the scope of the presentation to include female uniforming- that’s an area that could use further research. More importantly, I think that adding female uniforms would help connect with the audience, especially since it’s predominately female. 🙂 I look forward to further work in this area.