At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a Model 1885 Cavalry Officer’s great coat with cape. It’s in remarkable condition. It was loaned to us in 1939 by General Glines. It was used by the Rhode Island State Cavalry Guard.
Here are some before and after images of Varnum Continental’s founding member H.V. Allen’s Kentish Guard uniform jacket from 1900. This job required painters tape, a special vacuum, gentle handwashing in Woolite, and about 5 hours of time. Now the jacket is clean and brighter.
Despite the moth damage, it should display nicely at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. Next step is to order an appropriate dress form. Thank you, Brendan Synnamon, for advice on how to do it right.
Here’s the uniform jacket on display:
The Varnum Memorial Armory Museum has become a place where Rhode Island military history is saved from the dust bin of time. This often includes saving the records detailing the more mundane and low-key types of service to our country.
Not everyone was in combat. Not everyone was heroic. Not everyone made decisions and actions that changed the world. Still, I think these more common records of service need to be preserved even if they don’t go on public display. Regardless, they help to fill in the record of what happened in the past and offer respect to those who sacrificed so much in their personal lives to serve their country.
This donation was made by the Rhode Island World War I Commission. The medals, records, pictures, and flags of James Andrew Clark of Rhode Island. He served in the U.S. Army as a chemist in the Chemical Warfare Division. He invented a way to keep poison gas from permeating cotton fabric and published a book about it. He also served in the U.S. Navy and was discharged from the reserves in 1919. He passed away in 1978.
The Smith and Wesson Model 10, produced during World War II, had a “V” for Victory prefix in the serial number. Smith and Wesson produced over 571,000 in caliber .38/200 for British Commonwealth countries and 352,000 for the U.S. Army and Navy, in .38 Special and .38 S&W.