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rbstn

Uniform Restoration

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rbstn

I found this forum through google and thought it might be a good place to ask. While digging through my late grandmother’s house in preparation to sell, I found my great grandfather’s WW1 uniform and helmet. I also found a pouch in the pocket that had his unit info written something like this

 

CO. M. 327. INF

82 Division AEF

 

with his name, rank, and home address. Uniform is in pretty rough shape and the helmet needs work, but I’m hoping it could be restored and maybe shadowboxed. 

Any help would be appreciated. 

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rbstn

Meant to add pictures 

CE3D57DC-7C19-4AC1-9B77-0FB19CF4ABC0.jpeg

0129A9CA-ADAA-4584-BD07-2AF7810F01E3.jpeg

89F90D90-59F2-46CE-A9C8-46E71936F022.jpeg

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Polar Bear

Welcome to the Forum

 

Great Find.

 

A few cautionary words (which you may or may not know) before the experts get here. Light is going to be an enemy of that jacket. Also given its age it likely needs careful handling.

 

Finally I take it that you noticed the division number? 82nd. The predecessor of its much more famous WW2 and later formation. In WW1 it was active from 1917-19 and if you want more details I suggest for a good overview https://blog.refactortactical.com/blog/the-82nd-division-in-world-war-i-1917-all-americans-2017/

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rbstn

From what I heard from my family, he was in the Argonne. Don’t know if he was at hill 223, but he knew SGT Alvin York very well and regularly exchanged letters, which are as of now lost, and my grandmother used to talk about York coming over for dinner regularly. They both grew up in East Tennessee, but apparently met during the war. I’m not entirely sure of what he did during the war, but he was well educated for the time and ended up being a lawyer after the war. 

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Tenente

Ok. I bought an original WW1 Saxon Tunic That I'm looking to restore. I have a question about the Button Placement on the cuffs. I've seen Saxon Tunics that have the cuff Buttons going Horizontal, and some going vertical on the back side of the sleeve. This Tunic has had the Sleeves lengthened, and I see no evidence of there being holes anywhere. Before I go making holes in this , for proper Button Placement. I'd like to know what I'm Dealing with here. 

 

IMG_5157 fixed.JPG

IMG_5111 Fixed.JPG

IMG_5156 fixed.JPG

IMG_5162 fixed.JPG

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scottmarchand
2 hours ago, rbstn said:

From what I heard from my family, he was in the Argonne. Don’t know if he was at hill 223, but he knew SGT Alvin York very well and regularly exchanged letters, which are as of now lost, and my grandmother used to talk about York coming over for dinner regularly. They both grew up in East Tennessee, but apparently met during the war. I’m not entirely sure of what he did during the war, but he was well educated for the time and ended up being a lawyer after the war. 

Quite a scarce and important uniform group you have there. I would refrain from messing with it really - it is in pretty good shape all things considered. You will compromise it’s value and significance doing much with it. Don’t dry clean it!! Keep it flat, don’t wrap it in any plastic! If you have a cotton or linen sheet wrap it in that. There are good storage boxes available - places like Michaels sell wedding dress storage boxes, which would be ideal. Keep the helmet separately it is more robust and easier to care for.

 

lovely family item to have.

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themonsstar

Great finds and pics thank you both.

Roy

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rbstn

My family wants to shadow box the uniform, and at the very least, we want the holes sewn up, the fraying on the patch fixed, and for the dust and grime cleaned up and maybe polish the brass buttons and pins. For the helmet we want the rust removed and the lining replaced. I’m never gonna sell this but I want it nice for display. It has more sentimental value than market anyways. 

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depaor01
37 minutes ago, rbstn said:

the lining replaced.

If I was lucky enough to own such an amazing piece of family and wider history I wouldn't replace the helmet liner. It's an integral part of the story. Please don't!

Dave

Edited by depaor01

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trenchtrotter
14 hours ago, rbstn said:

My family wants to shadow box the uniform, and at the very least, we want the holes sewn up, the fraying on the patch fixed, and for the dust and grime cleaned up and maybe polish the brass buttons and pins. For the helmet we want the rust removed and the lining replaced. I’m never gonna sell this but I want it nice for display. It has more sentimental value than market anyways. 

If you do any of the things you say you will devalue the tunic not in monetary terms but as a piece of history. Its fine as it is. LEAVE please. As for the helmet again anything you do will ruin it. If you tackle the rust you will attack original paint. So leave. A wipe with light oil will suffice. Please think wisely first. Thanks.

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wainfleet
3 hours ago, trenchtrotter said:

If you do any of the things you say you will devalue the tunic not in monetary terms but as a piece of history. Its fine as it is. LEAVE please. As for the helmet again anything you do will ruin it. If you tackle the rust you will attack original paint. So leave. A wipe with light oil will suffice. Please think wisely first. Thanks.

 

I cannot agree strongly enough with the above, or with the post above it. What you have is a piece of history that has come down to you untouched. The more you meddle with it, the more you take away of its integrity. As for polishing the buttons and the brasses.....! Of course you mean well, but it is not possible to "improve" a piece of family history like this, and what you are proposing to do will effectively spoil it.

 

In the end it is your property and you'll do whatever you want. Just consider the opinions of collectors sympathetic to the preservation of historic artefacts before you make a decision, because once you mess this about there is no going back.

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Tom K

The uniform and helmet both look great to me.

 

The buttons and pins do not require poiishing - to my eye they look basically the same as they would have 100 years ago. Maybe just need to be wiped them with a cloth to get any the grime off.

 

Helmet looks great too - you'd be surprised at how good it will look if you just gently wash the outside with a little warm water to get the dust off.

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GWF1967
2 hours ago, Tom K said:

The uniform and helmet both look great to me.- 

 Maybe just need to be wiped them with a cloth to get any the grime off.

 

Helmet looks great too - you'd be surprised at how good it will look if you just gently wash the outside with a little warm water to get the dust off.

Lovely items. 

The “grime”, to me, is part of the history. I’d lightly wipe away dust, whilst taking care NOT to polish away 100+ years of patina. 

 Washing the helmet will encourage bright fresh rust!  

 As recommended by TT, post #10, a wipe with light oil on a cloth will remove dust, and prevent further oxidation. 

 

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