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Designing Uniformity in the Uniforms of the Old Army


Die Uniformen der Alten Armee (Uniforms of the Old Army) was a collection published by Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Factory in 1930. It was common for cigarette brands to include premium collectable cards and an accompanying album to help promote their wares. The range of options was wide and military nostalgia was one of the more popular themes.

Uniform Instinct

This year-long campaign included 312 army uniforms of German Empire from 1870 to 1918 (ending with the final capitulation to the allies during the Great War). The first 25 pages are listings of the Army Corps regiments and the importance of each battalion.

It is clear that uniforms and uniformity touched some kind of primal instinct in the hearts and minds of men who chose to become soldiers. Germany was well known for its Prussian military Junker class, the landed nobility who controlled almost all of the land and government. When the German empire was formed under Otto von Bismarck, the Junkers dominated the central German government and the Prussian military, which took rank and social status very seriously. Prussian uniforms signaled the hierarchy of their dominant position in German society.

The images below, just a few of the 312 different regimental uniforms, include many of the Prussian elite.

Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company put together Uniforms of the Old Army. Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company put together Uniforms of the Old Army. Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company put together Uniforms of the Old Army. Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company put together Uniforms of the Old Army.



CATEGORIES
Advertising, Daily Heller, Illustration Design, Steven Heller








About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.







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