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Old 05-31-2006, 06:44 AM
Bob Reynolds Bob Reynolds is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Paragould, AR or on m/v MAGNOLIA
Posts: 1,418
Blog Entries: 4

Dale and everyone,

I read, pretty recently, an article on the Cincinnati Regalia Co. going out of business...cannot now recall where I read it!

In 1977, I wrote them asking for their catalog. Richard Bissell had written of the Cincinnati Regalia Co. catalog in his book "My life on the Mississippi Or Why I am Not Mark Twain". The company replied to me that they had no catalog, but furnshed a number of price sheets and crude photocopies of their wiork. Most of the work at that time (and at the time of the company's closing) consisted of regalia and paraphernalia for Shriners and Masons -- fezzes and embroidered aprons, etc. I seem to remember reading in the article about the closing that lodge memberships were down and that those who cared about owning/wearing regalia already had all they needed or wanted, and that the masonic regalia was passed from genration to generation.

Capt. Doc Hawley posits that the steamboat uniform came about on Western Rivers from the Watchman's uniform. The watchman is required to wear "a cap or armband with the insignia "WATCHMAN" embroidered on it so as to be redily identifiable". Capt. Doc says that other officers became somewhat jealous of the wathman's cap or uniform, and that the other officers' caps and uniforms evolved from that. An interseting theory or legend, and one that may or may not be true.

Non-military uniforms and caps of this type are still available in uniform shops in port cities and online. I would suspect that most of the actual embroidery and specialty work is now performed in countries other than the U.S.

That's my two cents worth!

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