Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Outsourcing Uniforms

U. S. Grant
The well-deserved flap about the USA Olympic Team's uniforms being made in China brings to mind another instance of outsourcing that occurred in 1847-48. 
During the winter of 1847-1848, Lt. Ulysses S. Grant was stationed in Tacubaya, Mexico. He describes his duties were those of regimental quartermaster an commissary in his Personal Memoirs.

"General Scott had been unable to get clothing for the troops from the North.  The men were becoming - well, they needed clothing.  Material had to be purchased, such as could be obtained, and people employed to make it up into "Yankee uniforms."  A quartermaster in the city was designated to attend to this special duty; but clothing was so much needed that it was seized as fast as made up.  A regiment was glad to get a dozen suits at a time.  I had to look after this matter for the 4th infantry." 
It seems that this might have been the first case of outsourcing uniforms for a US organization.

While I am complaining about the Chinese takeover of the American economy, I might add the further insult of having American flags made in China.  Ask your Congressman to do something about both of these outrages.  Perhaps this is one task that they might be able to reach some agreement. 

(Source: Ulysses S. Grant Personal Memoirs,  p. 90.)

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