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“Boots and Gaiters for the War” Advertisement

Note: This item is currently in storage.

The quality and availability of military flight clothing was a significant concern for American aviators in World War I. The scarcity of supply and lack of standardized flying apparel forced many American pilots to supplement their personal kits with clothing and flying equipment purchased from commercial vendors. Many local companies even produced clothing to military specification, allowing personnel to acquire equipment outside the regular supply chain.  

This advertisement, an illustrated catalog of military boots and gaiters, was printed by the Sparkes Hall and Co., Ltd. of London. The company operated a retail storefront in Paris, which catered to the needs of British and American personnel at the Front. The advertisement includes descriptions and pricing for a variety of custom military boots for soldiers and pilots. 

The catalog returned to the United States with Capt. Henry B. Inglis, the officer in charge of gunnery instruction at the 7th Aviation Instruction Center (AIC) at Clermont-Ferrand, France. Inglis later flew with the 13th Pursuit Squadron in the Toul Sector before being reassigned to the United States as an expert on aerial gunnery.

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