Jul 15, 1912

The Sun (1837-1989); pg. 8


Policemen, Fat and Thin, Balk At
Suggestions For Comfort.


Modest Apollo’s, weary of displaying formless, sidestep proposals for a shirtwaist forced

Police official do not seem to take kindly to the suggestion of a “shirtwaist” form in hot weather. The idea has been advanced that lighter clothing would increase the comfort and efficiency of the men as it was done with letter carriers.

Marshall Farnan would be perfectly willing to have the men wear shirtwaist if it were practicable, but he says he doesn’t think it will be.

“In the first place,” said the Marshal, “they wouldn’t have any place to put their pistols. A policeman carries his gun in a holster (in his pocket) under his coat where he can get to it quickly. If he had to wear a shirtwaist he would have to carry it in his back pocket, and probably but in the pocket even at that, it would attract attention and be hard to get out quickly if he needed it.

“Of course, a policeman doesn’t often need his gun, but when he does wanted he wants it badly and he wants a quick. That’s the main reason against shirtwaist’s.

In rainstorms and tussles

“Then if he got caught in a rainstorm and had his shirtwaist soaked, he would be a rather forlorn looking site until he changed it. A man can’t keep a couple of shirtwaist handy, so as to put them on when he gets wet. A coat doesn’t look so bad when it gets wet.

“And then there’s another thing. When a policeman starts to arrest some fellows he often has to wrestle with his prisoner and it would be easy to have a shirtwaist ripped off. Some of the men even get their coats torn. A policeman with a ripple shirtwaist would be like a fellow coming home in a barrel.

“The close the men wear in the summer has been chosen because of its lightweight. You could almost see through the stuff, but it wears well and it’s economical.”

“How would you like to wear a shirtwaist?” He was asked. “Well,” he mused, “I don’t know. I’m so used to wearing a coat that I guess if I went out in a shirtwaist I take a side street, so that no policeman would see me and arrest me for not having enough close on. I’m not built for shirtwaist, anyway.”

Views of Stout and thin

One of the Stout policeman was asked what he thought of the plan.

“Say,” he puffed, wiping his steaming face, “I’m hot now, all right, but if I had to wear one of those things and have fresh guys coming along every few minutes yelling, “peak – a – Bill,” I guess I’d be hotter still. I’m right touchy about my shape. Somebody would come along and say, “get a V shape, officer, get a V-shaped –“ and I guess I’d have a sweet time explaining to the police magistrate that I had run a fellow in for disorderly conduct.”

One of the thin ones was asked if he would like to wear a shirtwaist. “Say,” he replied, “what would I look like, standing at the corner of Charles and Baltimore streets at 2 o’clock of an afternoon with a shirtwaist on and no suspenders. I’m thin; can’t you see that? And my suspenders do real work. No, sir re-, none of these shirtwaist for mine. Let the letter carriers wear them – nobody loves them.”

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