A quality cap made by a California tailor, M. LIBERMAN, YALLEJO, CAL.
This is a U.S. Navy seaman’s flat cap that definitely qualifies as a Spanish War -early ‘teens type. Made by a California maker, M. LIBERMAN, VALLEJO, CAL., and bearing his tailor label sewn to the inside of the cap lining using two colors of purple silk, with blue silk tassel draw strings. The cap tally is magnificent, made of high relief gold bullion embroidered on silk, with the banding sewn down.
According to Bazalon, Meyer Liberman began working in 1906, and by 1913 was advertising in the Army and Navy News as a “Leading Naval Tailor.” Liberman, a Russain-Hebrew, emigrated to the American from Russia in 1902.
Condition is excellent, with just a few minor moth holes that might be a 1/16 of an inch at best.
I would love to tell you this is a hat worn on the Oregon when she was part of Admiral Sampson’s Fleet. I am of the opinion that this was purchased by a seaman around 1901. After leaving the Atlantic, Oregon was assigned to the Asiatic Squadron, and finally arrived at San Francisco in June of 1901, then shortly after, sailed to Puget Sound Navy Yard where she remained for a year and a half before returning to China and other Asian ports. Oregon did not return to the west coast of the U.S. until 1906, when she was decommissioned. She was recommissioned in 1911.
The quality of the bullion work, suggest to me that the period of cap is earlier than later (1901-03), but regardless, it is a cap far superior to others of the period (those others without sailor embellishments).
Included with the cap are two good histories on the USS Oregon; McKinley’s Bulldog, The Battleship Oregon, by Sanford, Sternlicht, 1977, and The U.S.S. Oregon and the Battle of Santiago, by Joseph C. Gannon, with presentation by the author (a member of the crew during that time), 1958.
Holding firm on this one.