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The Necker - an historical perspective

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I still have my s/s collarless shirt from the early 70's and 100lbs ago. The neckerchiefs were bigger then and they were important tools as well as uniform. My scouts laughed at me as I tried without success to teach first aid with todays size of neckerchief.



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Shirts were made all four ways, with and with out collars short and long sleeve, and I have a long sleeve collarless in my collection to prove it, odd looking thing.


As a youth I was stuck with shirt collars I had to tuck under as a Cub and my first Boy Scout shirt too, was so happy that for my 2nd year of summer camp I had a short sleeve collarless, cooler and much more comfortable.


I need to get a photo of these shirts for peoples reference.

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At jambo I wore my old uniforms because they were more comfortable than the t-shirts that the contingent had. They were heavier materials. The old uniforms were like dress shirt material and were very comfortable in the hot weather.


For a long time my boys all wore BSA t-shirts when doing activities outside, now most of them stay in the uniform because it's more comfortable. A couple of really hot days and the boys figured it out quickly. At summer camp most of them now wear the uniform rather than t-shirts. On the really hot days, they don't like to wear the necker. That is until I told them to keep the neckers wet throughout the day. Now that problem has been solved too. :)





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I agree with the guy above. The collarless shirt of olde was made of some light material that really worked well in hot, humid summers. Dried off quickly. The fact that it was collarless meant you could wear it around, without a neckerchief, and get a few breezes through it. Good in the summertime, better than current stuff.

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When I was a Scout (and early Scouter) you wore your neckerchief (it's NOT a "necker" and it's NOT a "scarf") on top with the collar of the shirt folded under. (That was a half century ago, by the way.) Later they came out with a collarless shirt, which was really nice. And you tied the ends into a square knot ONLY after doing your "good deed" for THAT day.(This message has been edited by Woapalanne)

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See if you can find some old BSHBs from the 30', 40's and 50's and see what else they suggested using the neckers for. Some that cpme to mind are:

- to make cravats & bandages. For FA

- to use as a bandana around the head when doing service projects

- protect the back of your neck

- used to cover mouth & nose when the enviroment or weather conditions were bad.


Necker is mainly a British term. Yes, a lot of scouts from other countries, mainly Europe, will be running around in jeans & tees with a necker on. You will occassional see some of them dressed like this on this side of the pond.


Good luck on the presentation.

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