Why did Federal frock coats have 'pointed' cuffs?

major bill

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I thought it might be interesting to investigate why Civil War Federal frock coats had 'pointed cuffs'. This is the model 1851 enlisted frock coat note the pointed false turn back cuffs at the end of the sleeves. On the 1851 pattern enlisted coat these false pointed cuffs were in the 'branch color.
froc6465.jpg


Here is a color image of an infantry man in the 1851 pattern frock coat. Note the Saxon blue facing material on the cuffs. When the the 1855 pattern enlisted frock coat came out the facing material was replaced with sky blue cording at the top of the pointed false turn back cuffs. This cording was carried over on the 1858 pattern enlisted frock coat.
froc 3721.jpg
 
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Of course you´re aware that those cuffs aren´t limited to Federal uniforms. There might be things like practicality, production time and costs involved. But in the end definite reasons for a stylistic choice can only be given by those who made it. Did they?
 

major bill

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But why were the cuffs a different color? Originally soldiers coats had a turned back cuff so the ends of the sleeves could be pulled down to cover, or partly cover, the hand during cold weather. When not pulled down, the lining of the coat could be seen. The coats were made so different regiments had different color linings which was seen on the turned back tails of the coats, the turned back breasts of the coat as well as on the cuffs. So different color cuffs became a military tradition. At some point the cuffs were no longer really turned back and a piece of colored cloth replaced the real turned back cuffs and these are referred to as false turn backs cuffs.

Why pointed cuffs? Different countries had different style coat cuffs. but the Poland used pointed cuffs and pointed cuffs were at one time called 'Polish' cuffs. The advantage of the pointed cuff was when pulled down to cover the hand in cold weather, the point part of the cuff covered the top of the hand and kept it warm but left the fingers free to perform tasks.
 

major bill

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So I will let one of our other uniform people explain the cuffs shown on this militia man's coat cuffs. What is going on here?
froc 3923.jpg
 

KianGaf

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What does the rest of this image look like? Those cuffs look exactly like the coat in my profile picture but I can't tell if the jacket is triple breasted.
Triple breasted, I’ve never seen a triple brested uniform unless I have my definitions mixed up. The West Point cadet uniform for example I thought was classed as double brested.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I thought it might be interesting to investigate why Civil War Federal frock coats had 'pointed cuffs'. This is the model 1851 enlisted frock coat note the pointed false turn back cuffs at the end of the sleeves. On the 1851 pattern enlisted coat these false pointed cuffs were in the 'branch color.
View attachment 314987

Here is a color image of an infantry man in the 1851 pattern frock coat. Note the Saxon blue facing material on the cuffs. When the the 1855 pattern enlisted frock coat came out the facing material was replaced with sky blue cording at the top of the pointed false turn back cuffs. This cording was carried over on the 1858 pattern enlisted frock coat.
View attachment 314988
I expect it was just the fashion the Army wanted to go with at the time. It was decided that a frock coat was the way to go after the Mexican War, and that's the design they went with. Funny part is they expected to replace the M1833 jacket, and those in the field still preferred it, thus the literally retrimmed M1833, the M1852 fatigue jacket, was born. I always liked the look of the M1851 frock more than its replacement.


Triple breasted, I’ve never seen a triple brested uniform unless I have my definitions mixed up. The West Point cadet uniform for example I thought was classed as double brested.
It may be surprising, but the vast majority, if not all, "triple-breasted" jackets and coats were actually single-breasted with the two other rows of buttons being decorative. Unlike the double breasted which both rows of buttons could be used as buttons, the "triple-breasted" is a misnomer. The center row of buttons serve as a single breasted jacket and the other two just there to get in the way.
 


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