Postal Uniform History (Part 8)

1956 New Maroon Trim, New Emblem Patch, and a Skirt for the Ladies

Postal Uniform History 1955In December 1955, Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield announced new postal uniform specifications for letter carriers, stating that the newly styled items would become available January 15, 1956.

Instructions, reflected in the 1957 Personnel Handbook, changed the cap braid and uniform trim – including service stars – from black to maroon. Postal Uniform shirts were changed from gray to blue. Ties were changed from black to maroon. Letter Carriers could choose from the traditional double-breasted or a single-breasted winter coat.

For the first time, a patch with the Departmental emblem appeared on the postal uniform sleeves, in the form of a three-inch diameter maroon patch to be worn on the left sleeve, with a dispatch horse and rider centered in a circle, facing right. The patch had the words “POST OFFICE DEPT.” along the top and “USA” on the bottom, separated by two stars.

The 1955 postal uniform specifications banned the use of sweaters as outerwear and called for plain backs in the Eisenhower jacket instead of optional plain or pleated backs. At the same time, uniform wear of female carriers was first discussed.

Items of postal uniform for female employees are the same as for male employees . . . except for the addition of a skirt. –1957 Personnel Handbook

The winter skirt was to be made out of the same material as the winter jacket, and the summer skirt out of the material authorized for summer trousers. Both skirts were to have a 1 1/4 inch wide waistband, 1/4 wide maroon braid trim down the sides as on the trousers, and were to be worn approximately 13 inches from the floor.


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