Youthlink Blog

What's with the hat?

There's one hat that doesn't look like it belongs - and here's why.

While all the hats in the Historic Hat display have their unique look – one hat looks out of place. The Khaki coloured Forage cap bares the CPS crest and was indeed worn by Traffic officers between 1925 and the 1950’s - yet it looks like it’s straight out of WWII.

So what’s this hat’s story?

Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with war or the military - but it has everything to do with dust.

Picture Calgary in 1925… The budding city contained very few paved roads. Working a traffic patrol shift (while wearing the standard dark uniform) generated a persistent problem of dirty uniforms. This wasn’t good for the ‘traffic authority’ vibe.

In response to this grimy problem, the Traffic Control Unit adopted an entire khaki-coloured uniform. The colour and fabric hid the dust, and looked smart when paired with their tall boots – even better when on a Harley-Davidson and partially covered by a long black leather jacket.

However, Calgary was quick to get on the paving train - by the late 1950’s the khaki uniform was made moot. In 1962, it was officially ditched, and traffic officers donned the same dark blue uniforms as the rest of the Calgary Police Force.

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