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FireStone

Neckerchief history and size change

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I've been Googling with little luck, hoping someone here can help me. I'm doing a very basic Tiger first-aid talk at our next Den meeting and wanted to mention the things we carry that can be used for first aid (we're also discussing the Six Essentials). I think a fun fact that not many scouts seem to know is that neckerchiefs actually have some practical first-aid potential, or at least they did when they used to be larger. I want to mention in my chat with the scouts that neckerchiefs used to be large enough to actually use as an arm sling, head bandage, etc.  

Does anyone know the size of neckerchiefs of past generations? I'm assuming BSA neckerchiefs probably started out in the early years as being of similar size and shape as the larger BP-style neckers, and at some point they shrunk and became the triangular shape (I believe they were swuare at one time). 

Also, does anyone know of any common standard specs neckers used by scout groups internationally, ones that use the larger traditional size/shape neckers? 

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I have more files on my computer at home, but this image is an old order form that has some of the specs for older standard-issue neckerchiefs. I am becoming a bit of a neckerchief nut, so I collect any old images and files I can find with them. I am performing all the rest of today, and our Pinewood Derby is tomorrow, but at some point over the weekend I will post everything else that I have!

page008.jpg

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I am a dyed-in-the-wool neckerchief nut. And I probably own more vintage neckerchiefs than anyone. So, here goes.  The standard issue neckerchiefs up until the end of the 1930's were 30 x 30 inches.  In the 1940's the size was reduced to 29.5 x 29 inches. The triangular - or half - neckerchief came into use in the late 1940's and by the 1950's had completely supplanted the full-squares. I love the really old full-squares. They fit today's larger scouts and scouters, and they can be used for so many purposes. The biggest international scarves that I have encountered are the Indonesian haduks.  They are huge triangles and look really neat.

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Thanks, folks. Really appreciate the info. This is great!

So internationally, even though current neckerchiefs are larger than the BSA ones, they are still a triangle, is that right? The only group I know of using large squares is the BPSA-US. Maybe other BPSA groups internationally use them as well. But it sounds like among WOSM groups, it's all triangles, is that accurate?

 

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The iconic necker has shrunk thru the years.  My sources indicate the original BS necker was about a 36" square, folded into a triangle, gathered, not rolled, and held on the neck (over the collar !) by a hand made woggle.  It was intended as a tool on your uniform, which, after all, was worn to ALL Scout events, and often to school , around town, etc. One might wear the necker just because....

It had many uses, I have a book that lists more than 50 ! Dust mask, horse bridle, signal flag, arm sling, pole lashing, ankle brace, tourniquet, bandage, sun hat.......

The necker of my yooooth was (is) about 30" on a side, triangular to start.   

The necker of my son's troop was (is) 24 " on it's triangular side.  

I think the real shrinkage happened when Scouting lost much of it's outdoor's vantage and went more indoors in the 70's.  ISL uniform, yes?  Necker became a cravat, a decoration, rather than an emergency tool.... 

It is still the SYmbol of the Scout.  Wait for the World Jamboree in 2019 to see the importance of Neckers!  Trade'm ! Collect'm ! 

Sic Gloria Mundi.....

 

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The neckerchief (and the whole uniform for that matter, but that's another topic) seems to be in kind of a weird place in Scouting history right now. Today it's smaller and less useful than ever, and frankly I think in some cases it looks silly. I saw a photo of some scouts in uniform recently and their neckerchiefs didn't even come halfway down the front of the shirt. I wish US scouts wore the neckerchief more often and especially when out of uniform, but that doesn't even seem practical when the neckers are so small. 

 

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14 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Well the girls could use two of the small neckers to make an emergency halter top!

No, just ..... no.

You just made me a whole lot more comfortable with my Church pulling out of Scouting.  :laugh:

And what is it with you guys and your huge necks? When I wear the standard issue neckers the ends are so long they plummet past my belly button! How big are you people?! I thought being 5'8 and 160 lbs. was average but I can't imaging how a necker as huge as the old ones would look on me! Although I do see how they would be far more useful. I could use one that big as a blanket, a tablecloth, a parachute ...

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On 5/8/2018 at 4:24 AM, SSScout said:

The necker of my yooooth was (is) about 30" on a side, triangular to start.   

The necker of my son's troop was (is) 24 " on it's triangular side.  

I think the real shrinkage happened when Scouting lost much of it's outdoor's vantage and went more indoors in the 70's.  ISL uniform, yes?  Necker became a cravat, a decoration, rather than an emergency tool.... 

It is still the SYmbol of the Scout.  Wait for the World Jamboree in 2019 to see the importance of Neckers!  Trade'm ! Collect'm ! 

Sic Gloria Mundi.....

 

I've just converted metric to imperial, and the youth necker worn by under 14s is 27" in length along the right angle sides (i.e. the shorter two sides), and the adult one is 32".

And yes, I didn't realise the currency of neckers until I went on an international last year, it was a joy to see our UK international neckers wrapped around scouts from all over the world (well, mostly Spain)

 

18 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Well the girls could use two of the small neckers to make an emergency halter top!

Thinks about making a joke about chest/necker size, thinks again...

On 4/23/2018 at 12:29 AM, FireStone said:

So internationally, even though current neckerchiefs are larger than the BSA ones, they are still a triangle, is that right? The only group I know of using large squares is the BPSA-US. Maybe other BPSA groups internationally use them as well. But it sounds like among WOSM groups, it's all triangles, is that accurate?

 

It's certainly triangles in the UK.

 

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15 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

I was just trying to be helpful....if you want them to go without....

Backs away slowly.

 

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Agree that Official BSA neckers after a certain time, I want to say 1972 are too small to be really useful. I know a few years back, BSA started making properly sized triangle neckers, and then they stopped. In 4 years as a Scout, the troop went through 4 neckers. The first 3 were discontinued by BSA. Current one is a custom, handmade one using a patch from Sage Ventures and military triangle bandage. Even when hemmed, the necker can still be used for first aid ;)

 

As for why triangle vs. square,  1/2 the necker = 1/2 the cost of production.

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One word for TT.  

Loincloth

And if you're a little thick around the waist, some paracord and sheet bend knot. You can "thong" me later for the images. 

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,Weeeeelllll , in the book I quote,  "swim suit" is mentioned as a possible use (use more than one ). 

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11 minutes ago, SSScout said:

,Weeeeelllll , in the book I quote,  "swim suit" is mentioned as a possible use (use more than one ). 

I remember seeing that in an old book.  So the scenario is two scouts are on a hike, it is a warm day, they come upon a cooling stream/pond/lake.  As they are (of course) in full class A for their hike Scout 1 goes swimming using the two neckerchiefs (picture sort of a speedoesque attire) while Scout 2 is the lifeguard.  Then they reverse roles (and one would assume the swimwear).  Dry off and continue the hike

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1 hour ago, Buggie said:

One word for TT.  

Loincloth

And if you're a little thick around the waist, some paracord and sheet bend knot. You can "thong" me later for the images. 

I am so so sorry I brought this up. I think I threw up in my mouth a little.

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3 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

I remember seeing that in an old book.  So the scenario is two scouts are on a hike, it is a warm day, they come upon a cooling stream/pond/lake.  As they are (of course) in full class A for their hike Scout 1 goes swimming using the two neckerchiefs (picture sort of a speedoesque attire) while Scout 2 is the lifeguard.  Then they reverse roles (and one would assume the swimwear).  Dry off and continue the hike

Or strip down to your underpants, then go commando for the rest of the hike.

Or what's wrong with a skinnydip? Well, I'm more of a chunkydunk these days but...

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