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Object Name: Officer's coat
Date: ca. 1918
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Medium: Wool, horn, metal, silk
Dimensions: Overall: 3 x 18 1/2 x 32 1/4 in. ( 7.6 x 47 x 81.9 cm )
Description: Olive drab wool Medical Corps' officer's single-breasted coat, with 2 1/8" closed stand-up collar (2 sets hooks and eyes), plain shoulder loops which button at the collar; 5 carved horn buttons down the front, 4 pockets, 1 at each breast and hip, all with flaps which button at the center; closed sleeves (no cuffs) with a band of olive drab silk lacing around the wrists, left sleeve has a light blue wool felt patch with "PE / N.Y." at the shoulder, with a single chevron above the wrist lacing; 4 panels at the back of the bodice (skirt not split); all buttons unmarked on reverse, obverse with shield-breasted eagle clutching arrows and branches in its talons, with sunburst of stars above; lined with olive drab silk, vertical slit pocket at the left breast, sleeves lined with white and blue pin striped silk.
Credit Line: Gift of Kate Breckinridge Prewitt
Object Number: 1997.1
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Marks: applied: to patch on left shoulder: "PE / N.Y." printed: on maker's label inside interior breast pocket: "MANUFACTURED BY / HEIDELBERG WOLFF & CO. / 644 B'WAY., NEW YORK CITY"

Gallery Label:

This coat was worn by First Lieutenant John McGarvey Prewitt (1883-1957), who served in the Medical Corps during World War I. Originally assigned for duty overseas, when the flu epidemic broke out in 1918, he was reassigned to Camp Mills Base Hospital near Mineola, Long Island. The shoulder insignia identifies New York as the Port of Embarkation. The 1918 flu epidemic claimed the lives of 12,000 New Yorkers, as was one of the worst outbreaks recorded.