World War I Red Cross Canteen uniform, ca. 1917

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


The American Red Cross worked in many capacities during World War I. Red Cross Canteens, or cafeterias, provided food services at home and abroad. In addition to food and beverages, canteens also provided toiletries and personal items to both the military and citizens in war torn regions. Canteen workers were often female volunteers.

This back-closing, chambray cotton apron is in the shapeless coverall / housedress style, a style commonly worn over everyday clothing in the home during the World War I period. The blue color is reminiscent of both nurse uniforms and the Hoover aprons worn by women active with the U.S. Food Administration educational programs.

The presence of an A.R.C. Canteen shield patch (located on both cuffs) was mandatory while serving in canteens.

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About This Item

  • Title: World War I Red Cross Canteen uniform, ca. 1917
  • Creator: American Red Cross
  • Creation Date: circa 1917
  • Subject Date: circa 1917
  • Locations:
    • France
    • USA
  • Media: Cotton
  • Dimensions: 120 cm x 48 cm
  • Local Code: 1996.40.7 a,b
  • Collection: Costume collection
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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