Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A rare exception to the rule


I usually have trouble thinking of anything that government can do very well, but one exception seems to have been military equipment procurement during World War II.

I don't know what would constitute "mint condition" for a wool military blanket (like this), but I recently picked one up for, IIRC, $2.99 at a thrift store and it was in very nice shape. No moth holes, etc., not particularly faded or worn. A very nice blanket, if you like olive drab, 100% wool blankets with the letters "US" printed on them.

What I found remarkable was not the blanket's condition per se, or even the price for it in that condition (although that was surprising), but the fact that the blanket was in that shape, and not extremely valuable for being in such good shape, at its age. It was made by the now-defunct Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Company for the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot. The date on the manufacturer label is November 3rd, 1944. If it was a human being, it would be collecting Social Security by now.

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