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Visor cap cardboard strips?


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Hello, everyone. I'm new here and need some help with a couple of questions about visor caps. I've been trying to find this out for awhile now with little luck. I'll take my chances here.

Ok, so I've a couple of surplus Soviet visor caps, both of them have a cardboard strip behind the sweatband, tucked under the visor.

CrA8I.jpg

However, I have one used cap from the 50s and it doesn't have the strip. My question is, were the strips removed upon use or were the strips not yet around at all/standard practice to be inserted in the caps during the 50s?

Also, what was it's use? I realized that the shape of the visors of my unissued caps (with the strips) are more ummm "refined" and consistent in shape especially seen at the area where it's connected to the rest of the cap.

FOeGT.jpg

As for the 50s cap without the strip...

Coji5.jpg

My theory is that the strip is to maintain it's shape but then again, how much can a cardboard strip affect a fiberboard/plastic visor? It's prolly a coincidence (my 50s cap is used after all) but I had to bring it up.

So, to recap:

What are the strips for?

Were they removed at any point in time?

When did the strips first started appearing in visor caps?

Sorry if TL;DR. Thanks! uhoh2.gif

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Hi Jonathan,

When I wore uniform hats of this design I put strips of thick card behind the sweatband to make them fit better if they were slightly large. I bought a very up-market straw hat in Italy a few years ago, and the shop-keeper fitted trips of cork sheet behind the band for the same reason. I take a 6 7/8ths hat size, and I can't always find hats to fit!

Bill

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Ah I see. Is the strip placement as pictured correct (under the visor beneath the sweatband)? What do users usually do to the strips if they aren't needed? I assume they are removed and disposed? Also, how long has this been practiced (the insertion of strips for fit) as standard procedure? Apologies for the question spam. Thank you for your input and patience. :)

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Hi Jonathan,

I can only speak for my own experience. I put the strips into my uniform hat myself - they weren't issue in the RAF, and I suspect the Soviets didn't issue their hats with the strips in already. They would only be fitted if required - I have a Soviet Army visored cap from the 1990s that doesn't have any card strips fitted.

Bill

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I believe this has been common pratice for a long time. I have had a Model 1902 US Army dress visor caps that had a felt insert under the sweat band, Model 1882 US dress helmets with the same. I also have used simular (felt or cardboard) on my service visor caps. One other thing I have lined the complete inside of a Model 1902 US visor with cardboard to reshape it (had been lopsided).

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Ah I understand. Although with that said, I'm still somewhat baffled because the visor caps I own WITH the strip, are exactly the ones that are unissued! So who, then inserted those strips? I don't have a clear understanding on the Soviet mode of production though, so it's kinda difficult for me to come to a conclusion. Thanks for your input! :)

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I've been fortunate to examine several dozen examples of Soviet headgear. The presence or absence of a cardboard strip just inside the sweatband cannot really be used to determine much if anything at all. Some caps had them when they came out of the factory, some did not. To improve the fit, some wearers immediately removed the strips while other soldiers, feeling that their caps were too big, cut strips on their own and inserted them. Collectors and dealers have undoubtedly removed or even exchanged strips over the years, particularly if they did not like the condition (looked too new, looked too scruffy). Because they are removable, it is pretty much impossible to tell if a cap without one did have one when it was new - or if a strip now inside a cap was initially placed there in a factory, later on in a barracks, or even eventually in a collector's hobby room...

While some hat factories inserted strips to improve the fit and or the look of their caps, I have seen deliberately mislabeled caps that were obviously the result of a Soviet contractor realizing too late that he did not have enough of a given size to make a specific quota; insert a couple of cardboard strips, stamp a different size in the lining, and presto! You've now got the correct number of hats for the next shipment.

Regards.

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That is very interesting. You understand, I just want to derive as much information as I can from the cardboard strips as it was something that caught my attention, yet I've heard nothing about (until now that is). So, thanks for all the help. Greatly appreciated!

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with Mathomhaus - I've handled hundreds of Soviet era caps including many purchased directly from Soviet uniform clothing stores and the strips were often (but not always) inserted at the cap factory (these sometimes had a "check-mark" or initials by an inspector as well). However, they were easily lost or removed and don't indicate anything (date, location, etc) by themselves. Interesting that some folks reportedly used these for sizing purposes - I assumed they were just for protecting the forehead from the "pointy bits" of the cockades pinned through the band.

BTW: I am new to this club and look forward to discussing Soviet uniform topics with members. I intend this year to work on a book on Soviet visor caps based on my website:

www.undertheredstar.com and may seek some of your help in clearing up some points before putting them to paper.

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