Wednesday, October 3, 2012

18th Century Knitted Caps

Any fool can be uncomfortable, 'tis a wise man what wears a knitted cap...
Captain Roger Gary and Lieutenant Michael "Caracticus" Hussey
laud the virtues of the knitted cap during a spring scout.
The knitted cap...not just for sailors and French Milice.  In supplying the unsuccessful 1776 Canadian expedition, Congress procured 688 caps and pairs of mittens [1].

           Virginia shipped a quantity to the Continental Forces, presumably received by Muhlenberg's Brigade (1st, 5th, 13th Va Regt, Continental Line and the 1st and 2d Virginia State Regiments, and the German Regiment), according to Washington's General Orders and a letter to to the Brigadier.

Excellent examples of extant knitted caps and reproductions can be found here:

His very cool Voyageur living history blog by the same gentleman can be found here:

...and my favorite,

From Diderot's Plates,


Only Figures 14 and 15 appear to show knitted caps.


[1] Journals of the Continental Congress 1774-1789, Vol IV, 1776.  46.

[2] Washington Papers.

[3] Hogarth, W (1747)  The Idle Prentice, London.,_the_idle_prentice.aspx

[4] Wallet and Purse Maker." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Ann Arbor: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library, 2010. <>. Trans. of "Boursier," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 2 (plates). Paris, 1763.



  1. Can't wait to show this post to Adam. He will greatly enjoy and appreciate it.

    1. Thank you. I hope he enjoys Hogarth as much as I. There are few better at visual satire and social commentary than Hogarth. The Diderot plates are wonderful to browse through on the link. You really leave with a good idea of why the encyclopedia took so many years to complete...not to mention the complexity of the 18th century.