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"U.S. Army 'albert cap' ?" Topic

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42flanker Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2020 7:45 a.m. PST

Greetings, I read today, in a historical survey of American army uniforms (US Army, History Division), reference to the cap, or shako, adopted in 1851 by the US Army as the " 'Albert' Cap, copied from the British and named for Queen Victoria's husband."

I was bemused since, although the 1851 cap post dated the so-called 'Albert shako' of the British army, it bore little relation to that item- and as far as I am aware was more likely inspired by the French casquette 'chasseur' itself based on the casquette d'Afrique of Algerian service.

My understanding was that the 1851 shako went by the name of 'gig cap.'

Can anyone cast light on this for me?


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2020 8:00 a.m. PST

Here is an illustration:

PDF link


Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2020 10:49 a.m. PST

Are there any contemporary references to the US 1851 pattern as an "Albert cap"?

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2020 1:52 a.m. PST

@79th PA:"Here is an illustration:"

That was indeed the source of my enquiry.

@enfant perdus

Indeed. That was in essence my question.

cplcampisi15 Oct 2020 10:20 p.m. PST

I haven't seen any period references to it as an albert cap, although there are some people I could ask who would know better. (Didn't the British Albert cap have a small visor at the back?) Officially it was just called "cap."

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 6:41 p.m. PST

(Didn't the British Albert cap have a small visor at the back?)

It did.

There are numerous surviving examples of the 1851 cap that differ dramatically from the official pattern. Some of these bear a vague resemblance to the British pattern 1844 shako. That perhaps explains why someone (contemporary or otherwise) would refer to 1851 model as an "Albert cap".

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 3:41 a.m. PST

I wonder how many individuals- in relation to this item- were aware of Prince Albert was in 1851 – or at least had any knowledge of his reputed influence on British army uniforms?

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