Friday, March 4, 2011

Rain Skirts II: Turnbull & Asser "Quorns"

 After some digging, I found the old Turnbull & Asser book with some vintage advertisements for their World War 1-era rainskirts or "overskirts".  T.A. dubbed them "Quorns", and they were meant to be paired with their matching "waterproof coat".  An accompanying hat was also offered, pictured in the illustrations.  Normally when shirtmakers ventured away from their craft, they stayed close, but T.A. went well off of Jermyn St. for this line of creation.


 Turnbull & Asser likely never imagined that stylish (and gorgeous) urban women would wear similar almost a century later while actually in the city.


Above, two ladies are golfing.  At closer examination, we see that they are on the first hole, the clubhouse is nearby, and the rain is just starting.  As the foreground's lady pulls on her waterproof coat, her companion sends a ball out into the grey, and the dejected caddy realizes that he is in for a wretched round with only a bone-soaking for his tip.

Turnbull & Asser used the same materials in their attempt to provide micro-dignity and nano-sanity to the hellish trenches of the Western Front with their Coverall and Groundsheet. The heartbreaking image of sons, brothers, and fathers attempting to sleep in frigid foreign mud with a device designed by those who's main clientele were likely never subjected to such horrors is moving to say the least.  Perhaps now I'll keep my ungrateful gob shut next time I arrive to an exhibit with rain-dampened socks.

A reverent nod and solemn salute to Cpl. F.W. Buckles, who dies this week.  At 110, he was the last surviving WW1 veteran.

1 comment:

  1. Buckles was the last U.S.A. vet..there are 1 or 2 left in Europe.
    I love this advert....that is my kind of woman...stepping out afield with her double gun and bird dog.


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