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Uniform historians of note.

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by major bill, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    I thought it might be appropriate to discuss the giants in the study of Civil War uniforms.

    After H.A. Ogden, one of the early masters in the study of Civil War uniforms is Frederick P. Todd. For many people my age the 1941 book, Soldiers of the American Army, helped start our interest in American Army uniform's.

    todd 2.jpg

    This book is now 66 years old and is still a classic. The uniform plates by Fritz Kredel are still very nice. The Kredel plates used in this book were the inspiration for the Company of Military Historians Uniforms in America, now at well over 900 plates and growing. Todd was one of the founding members of the Company of Military Historians and Collectors. This book has stood he test of time disputed new research showing that some mistakes were made.

    Frederick P. Todd continued to add to the study of American uniforms for decades with a particular love of Civil War era uniforms.

    todd.jpg

    Todd's masterpiece was his American Military Equipage 1851- 1872. This 4 volume study although 40 years old is still one of the most import works on civil War era uniforms. Todd's influence was such that many modern uniform book authors and artist still use his ground breaking study.
     
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  3. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    Whos should be next after H.A. Ogden and Frederick P. Todd? Anyone ready to tell us about the work of the "Dean of American Historian and Military Illustrator" Hugh Charles McBarron Junior? How about George Woodbridge?
     
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  4. Pavel

    Pavel Private

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    Where can I download?
     
  5. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    Steffen 02.png

    The late Randy Steffen published a three-volume series, The Horse Soldier, 1776-1943, covering arms and equipage of American cavalrymen. (Volume II covers our period.) Most of the illustrations are pen-and-ink line art, but they're beautiful on their own as artwork. I'm not sure he'd be called a "giant" of CW uniform illustration, but I've enjoyed his work.

    Steffen.png
     
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  6. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    I have never looked for American Military Equipage 1851- 1872 on line so perhaps someone else knows if it is on line some where. This work comes in a 4 volume set and a two volume reprint. The two volume reprint has 1,933 pages. Knowing where to find it on line would save a bunch of wear and tear on my set. I use it often and it is starting to show the use.
     
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  7. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    The late Randy Steffen published a three-volume series, The Horse Soldier, 1776-1943. Andyhall you are shorting poor Mr. Steffen one volume there, this is a four volume series. This four volume work is a major study of the uniforms, equipment and weapons used by the United State cavalry. for those who have never seen it there are many black and white illustrations. Like all works from this era there are some errors, but still over all this is a must have series for those who study U.S. uniforms.
     
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  8. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    Tonight let us look at H. Charles McBarron Jr. McBarron has to be one of the uniform illustrators best known by most Americans. His plates were in Army and Navy offices and bases every where. His illustration grace many museums and military academies. so many books have used his works that trying to name them all is next to impossible.

    In many ways H. Charles McBarron is a early Don Troiani in that he amassed a large collection of arms, armor and uniforms. Mr. McBarron was a founding member of the Company of Military Historian and did 250 of the plates in that society's Military Uniform in America series, but he is best know for the work he did for the US Army and Navy. He produced 50 plates in the American Soldiers 1775 to the Present and 24 plates for the U.S Navy 1775-1968. He produced so many works it is dificult to obtain and store all of it. Here is some of his works:


    • Over 250 color illustrations for Military Uniforms in America, the quarterly publication of the Company of Military Historians [1](H. Charles McBarron-Founding Member & Fellow); c. 1948-1990
    • Five series of Ten each: 50 Illustrations entitled The American Soldier: 1775 to the Present; reproductions published by the US Government Printing Office, Washington DC
    • Two series of 12 each = Twenty-four paintings of historic Uniforms of the US Navy 1775-1968 for the US Navy Department; published by the US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
    Twenty-seven paintings for the American Oil Company (Amoco) c. 1963-65, Historical Americana
    • Book of the Continental Soldier, Harold Peterson, illustrated by H. Charles McBarron, c 1965
    • Soldiers of the American Revolution: A Sketchbook; H. Charles McBarron, Department of the Army, Center of Military History, Washington, D.C., 1976
    • Military Uniforms in America; John R. Elting and Michael J. McAfee (editors),illustrated by H Charles McBarron. published by Presidio Press, California (four volumes):
    • Volume I The Era of the American Revolution, 1755-1795, Presidio Press, San Rafael, California, 1974
    • Volume II Years of Growth, 1796-1851, Presidio Press, San Rafael, California, 1977
    • Volume III Long Endure, The Civil War Period, 1852-67, Presidio Press, Novato, California, 1982
    • Volume IV The Modern Era, from 1868, Presidio Press, Novato, California, 1988
    • Encyclopædia Britannica; Illustrations of Military and Historical subjects
    • Book of Costume; Simon & Schuster
    • Book of Soldiers; Simon & Schuster
    • Historical Slide Films; Society for Visual Education
    • Numerous illustrations for textbooks, mostly historical
    • Numerous illustrations for magazines and calendars
    billy bill acbd.jpg
     
  9. JPChurch

    JPChurch Private

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    In 1961, LIFE magazine ran a section in each monthly issue commemorating the Centennial of the Civil War. I have the first three months of LIFE in their original condition. Jan.-March 1961. So cool to read through them. Even the advertisements are great. Many different artists contributed to LIFE in the 3 issues I have. Woodbridge's art work of different soldier's and uniforms is in the Feb. 3rd 1961 issue. Really really neat. I also have a lot of vintage MAD magazines (I was a big fan of MAD back then), Woodbridge was a contributing artist to that publication as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  10. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    We could do Woodbridge's contribution to the study of uniforms next.
     
  11. Pavel

    Pavel Private

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    And where they can be downloaded from the Internet?
     
  12. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    George Woodbridge is known for his illustrations for Todd's American Military Equipage 1851- 1872, and his Civil War uniform illustrations for Time Magazine. Woodbridge rendered 10 plates in the Company of Military Historian's Military Uniforms in America series all on civil War uniforms. Woodbridge Company of Military Hisorian plates are widely recognized as some of the best work in their Uniforms in America series of uniform plates. Woodbridge was also huge in the American Revolution reenacting community.
     
  13. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    George Woodbridge's artistic style fits in well with the Company of Military Historian's method of issuing uniform plates. the plates are not intended to be fine works of art but to provide information about uniforms using color plates. Woodbridge almost crosses the line from uniform illustration to art. Here is his latest plate, Vivandiere, 114thPennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1865., Military Uniforms in America Plate No 931. Note I scanned it a very low resolution and a bit out of focus to help protect Woodsbridge's rights to this image.

    wood 5.jpg
     
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  14. JPChurch

    JPChurch Private

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    I can scan and post images of Woodbridge's work from that LIFE magazine issue (Feb 3, 1961) if it won't get me in trouble with copyright infringements
     
  15. kepi

    kepi First Sergeant

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  16. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Here are a couple of my favorite of his plates copied from Military Uniforms in America, Long Endure: The Civil War Period 1852 - 1867 I've posted before:

    [​IMG]

    I used to own a framed copy of The Rockbridge Artillery one. Note that in both, he gives excellent detail not only to the uniforms and Capt. Poague's portrait, but to the mechanics of the arms themselves, showing EXACTLY how a Spencer rifle is loaded, and how an artilleryman sets his fuzes. Needless to say, these are details a Kunstler or Gallon likely would have little-or-NO-idea about!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    [​IMG]

    This photo was copied from an old issue of the (I believe) now-defunct Living History Magazine ca. 1980 and shows George Woodbridge during the American Revolution Bicentennial in the uniform of American Light Infantry and commander of the Brigade of the American Revolution. And as @JPChurch has already noted, he was actually most widely-known for his work in the 1950's and 60's for MAD Magazine! One of his early, short, but hilarious illustrated features in MAD was called Orson Bean's Civil War with a most unflattering view of Grant and his drinking which I still have somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  18. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here are all of them, copied from a Time-Life brochure short history of the war published some time after the original magazine issues. The only two missing are the full-page Johnny Reb and Billy Yank (my actual favorite of the set).
     
  19. Pavel

    Pavel Private

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    Where it can be downloaded from the Internet? References.
     
  20. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    I've posted these works by Woodbridge previously here on the forum, but since he's absolutely one of my favorite uniform illustrators - right up there with Troiani - I always hasten to mention him in discussions such as this. I even have an old 1950's comic book of The Gray Ghost with an unsigned but very obvious story illustrated by him that includes his usual incredible detail - right down to the Maynard tape primer lock on a rifled musket and Colt and Remington revolvers!
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  21. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    [​IMG]

    Another prolific if somewhat artisticly-lesser illustrator of the Civil War, military uniforms, and historic scenes was the late Frederic Ray, former Art Director for publications like Civil War Times, Civil War Times Illustrated, and American History Illustrated, whose covers frequently featured his art. This publication shown here was the ca. 1960 revised second edition of a battlefield tour guide he originally produced when he was in high school! (I also own a similarly-formatted one he did about the same time about the Alamo.)
     
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