Emerson, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, is the author of Chevrons
, a detailed book on U.S. Army insignia, and a member of many collectors organizations. This massive reference book is intended for researchers, historians, collectors, dealers, and curators. It covers insignia and uniforms of the U.S. Army from 1782 to the present. Before insignia became common, the design of the uniform was especially important in identifying nationality and branch of service. Thus, one-third of this book is devoted to the study of uniforms, and two-thirds covers insignia. The book is divided into 22 sections and 80 chapters that are arranged to allow the identification of like objects (e.g., section 8, Musician's Insignias
; chapter 13, "Lyres"; chapter 14, "Bugles, Horns, and Trumpets"). Coverage includes all branches of the army and everything from field clothing to dress uniforms. Insignia and uniforms for chaplins, medical personnel, foreign units, Indians, and women are covered in detail. The text is profusely illustrated with more than 2,000 black-and-white photographs and occasional line drawings. The illustrations are appropriately placed throughout the text and frequently show the items being worn. In an appendix is a well-illustrated seven-page essay on insignia fasteners. The bibliography has 249 listings for books, government documents, periodicals, and catalogs. Also assisting users is a nine-page index with appropriate see
and see also
references. Italic designations for illustrations in the index are hard to distinguish from regular type.
The only comparable work is the much smaller Military Dress of North America, 1665^-1970 by Windro (Scribner, 1973). It contains approximately 100 color and line drawings and 100 black-and-white photographs. Approximately one-third of that book is devoted to coverage of pre-Revolutionary armies in North America. Except for this small time period, Emerson is far more extensive in coverage and detail. Academic, public, and special libraries will want to consider this excellent book for their collections.