National Park Service
National Park Service Uniforms
Ironing Out the Wrinkles, 1920-1932
Deland Taylor, c.1920s.
Taylor was a temporary ranger at Shenandoah National Park. He is
wearing a surplus Army coat.
"Pert" - Forest Ranger, 1920.
Although this image identifies "Pert" as a Forest Ranger, his badge
informs us that he is in fact a park ranger at Sentinel Point,
Yosemite National Park.
John H. Wegner, c. 1920, ranger, Yosemite National
Wegner's clothes are starting to show considerable wear. He must
not be meeting the public today.
Courtesy of Virginia Best Adams (Mrs. Ansel Adams) HFC/93-96C
William Nelson, 1924, custodian, Petrified Forest National Monument.
Custodians worn the same insignia as the superintendents.
NPSHPC - Francis P. Farquhar photo - HFC/92-28-52 & 54
Superintendent H. Albright and Senator Oddie at Park headquarters,
Mammoth Hot Springs, 1924, Yellowstone National Park.
Senator Tasker Lowndes Oddie, from Nevada, visited the park early in the
season and after listening to the orientation given the summer seasonals,
became so enamoured with the park system, he importuned upon Albright to
allow him to work as a seasonal, without pay, while the Senate was in
recess. Against his better judgement, Albright agreed, even lending him
one of his own uniforms. Much to his surprise, the Senator became a
valuable ranger and one of the Service's staunchest supporters in
Charles F. "Charlie" Adair 1925, ranger at Yosemite National
Adair is out on patrol astride his horse Rusty.
NPSHPC Carl P. Russell Collection - HFC/86-239
On ski patrol, c.1924 - H. Bowman.
Bowman was a ranger in Yellowstone National Park, and
since there was only one uniform and warm clothing was essential out on
patrol in the snow, he is wearing civilian ski clothing. He is carrying
a rifle, as well.
NPSHPC Samuel T. Woodring photo - YELL/F 4241a
Man on motorcycle at fire lookout tower at Mount Washburn,
Yellowstone National Park, c. 1925.
Building was torn down and replaced with a concrete structure in 1939.
"Just a little drink at a God forsaken hot place in Arizona", 1925.
A group of hard working Park Service personnel partaking of a bit of
refreshment on their way to the 1925 Superintendent's Conference. Elmer
Reynolds (6th from left), while not associated with the government, gave
invaluable assistance through the STOCKTON RECORD, which he owned, by
publishing extensive accounts about the new park programs. While the
regulations specified what was to be worn and that the coat was to be
buttoned up whenever meeting the public, apparently, libertys were taken
when traveling, as can be noted by the striped shirt and tie being worn
by Carl Russell in the above photograph. Also note the buckskin lining
of Burrell's breeches.
Left to right: Carl Parcher Russell, chief naturalist; Betty Russell;
Bernice Lewis; Mrs Burrell; Mrs. Thomson; Elmer Reynolds; editor, Stockton
Record Newspaper; Washington B. Lewis, superintendent, Yosemite; Mr. Mather's
chauffeur; Bert H. Burrell, acting chief engineer; Mr. Hawkins; Charles
Goff Thomson, superintendent, Crater Lake.
NPSHPC - HFC/93-328
Washington B. Lewis, superintendent, Yosemite National Park, and
Director Stephen T. Mather, 1925.
Lewis was a sharp dresser and always
looked immaculate in his uniform. His superintendent's brassard shows
very clearly in this image.
NPSHPC - HFC/69-571
Stephen Tyne Mather, c. 1925, Director, National Park Service.
This is the type of shirt worn by the rangers.
Courtesy of Virginia Best Adams (Mrs. Ansel Adams) - HFC/93-360
Forrest Sanford Townsley with horse, 1926, chief ranger,
Yosemite National Park.
Townsley's saddle blanket has a star with NPS in
and the "NEW"?
Ranger Herford in Mammoth Hot Springs, 1926.
Herford was a ranger at Yellowstone National Park. At this time,
rangers on motorcycle patrol usually wore anything comfortable
while on duty. Notice the sheep-skin chaps to protect his legs
from the brush when riding cross-country.
NPSHPC - YELL/3826
Elk Antler Gate, North Entrance, Yellowstone National Park, 1926.
This image of Mather and Albright was taken at the opening ceremonies of
the Antler Gate. The ranger on the left is Chief Ranger Samuel Tilden
Courtesy of the Montana Historical Society - Ellicott
W. Hunter photo - H-26266
Mounted Yellowstone Park Ranger force, 1926.
Superintendent Horace M. Albright, left, and Chief Ranger Samuel T. Woodring,
third from left.
A high country winter, 1926, rangers at Yosemite
Since there wasn't a winter uniform, rangers wore anything that was
warm. Russell is the only one wearing his uniform.
Left to right: Forrest S. Townsley, chief ranger; Oliver Guy Taylor,
Park Engineer; Charles Adair, ranger; Edward Dixon Freeland, ranger;
John Wegner, ranger; (?), NPS night watchman; Carl P. Russell, chief
naturalist; Samuel Clark, ranger.
NPSHPC - Carl P. Russell Collection - HFC/CPR-86-135
Joseph Joffe, 1926, clerk, Yellowstone National Park.
At this time, every one in the park, with possibly the exception of the
superintendent, wore a uniform.
NPSHPC - YELL/130,081
Ranger Grant Pearson on Patrol at McLeod Creek in 1927, Denali
"History of Mount McKinley National Park", Pearson - HFC/DENA #912
Gabriel Sovulewski, c. 1920's, ranger, Yosemite National Park.
Sovulewski began his service in the park with the army in
1895. After discharge from the Army, he returned to the park as a
civilian supervisor (note patch) beginning 30 years of distinguished
service as a park employee in 1906.
National Archives / 79-SM-28
Horace M. Albright, daughter Marian, and Secretary of Commerce
(later president) Herbert Hoover, 1927.
Superintendent's brassard can be seen on Albright's right sleeve.
NPSHPC - HFC/WASO G-688
Charles Adair, c. late 1920's, ranger, Yosemite National Park.
This is a good view of the type of gray wool shirt being
worn by the rangers during the twenty's.
Courtesy of Virginia Best Adams (Mrs. Ansel Adams)
Forrest Sanford Townsley, 1929, chief ranger, Yosemite National Park.
Townsley is wearing yet another variation of the shirt, with pocket flaps.
He is also wearing service
insignia on his sleeve (16 years). It would be interesting to know if he
is also wearing a brassard on his right sleeve, as stated in the
regulations. This is the only image found showing a ranger wearing any
insignia, other than USNPS, on his shirt.
Courtesy of Virginia Best Adams (Mrs. Ansel Adams)
Milo Shepler Decker, c. 1929, chief ranger, Sequoia National Park.
National Archives / 79-SM-29
Superintendent [Roger Wolcott] Toll with Mamoru Kiski and
wife. Mr. Kiski is a member of Japanese Parliament. 1931.
Toll, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park (1929-1936) until his death,
was very active in uniforming the Service. During off-seasons, Toll
served as the chief investigator of proposed park and monument areas for
the NPS. It was while pursuing these duties that he was killed in an
automobile accident in New Mexico on February 25, 1936.
NPSHPC - YELL/8151-6
Harry Tom of Bishop, who won the most points in the event
[rodeo?] & so got the saddle, c. late 1920's.
As can be seen from the dress of Forrest Townsley, rangers were not always
in regulation uniform, even when meeting the public, though "Dusty" Lewis
is his immaculate self.
Courtesy of Virginia Adams (Mrs. Ansel Adams)
Mesa Verde National Park Office force with Mr. Albright, 1929.
Apparently, doctors were exempt from the strict observance of uniform
regulations, as noted by Rife in this photograph. He is wearing lighter
colored breeches and a fancy striped tie. Left to right: (back row):
Raymond Develin, chief clerk; Paul Rice, seasonal ranger; Norris Bush,
seasonal ranger; Stephen J. Springarn, seasonal ranger; Proctor L.
Dougherty, seasonal ranger; David H. Canfield, ranger; James Armstrong,
ranger; Virginia Jessup, secretary; (?) (front row): Bert Hart, ranger;
Paul R. Franke, park naturalist; James Dalton, U.S. Commissioner; Dwight
W. Rife, M.D.; Horace M. Albright, director; Jesse L Nusbaum,
superintendent; C. Marshall Finman, chief ranger; Richard D. Hager,
chief ranger; Lyle Bennett, ranger.
NPSHPC - George A. Grant photo - HFC/MEVE #177
Early Yosemite rangers Charlie Adair and Billy Nelson, c. 1929.
Adair and Nelson enjoy a good laugh while reading Horace Albright's book
"Oh, Ranger". The reinforcement shows clearly on the inside of Adair's breeches,
as do the service stars on the sleeves of the uniforms.
Mr. Frank Pinkley, Supt. S. W. Monuments, 1929.
Nick-named "The Boss", Pinkley spent his entire Park Service career at
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, being custodian from 1918 to 1931, and
superintendent of Southwestern Monuments until his death. He was an
outspoken critic of all facets of life in the Park Service, including
it's uniforms. He had a very humorous way of stating his convictions as
he advocated simplicity and equality of dress, as well as the uniforming
of women. It was only fitting that a man of his stature and temperment
should die "with his boots on." On Wednesday, February 14, 1940, after
giving the keynote address at the first school of Instruction for
Custodians of the Southwestern Monuments, a 20-year-old dream of his, he
sat down and promptly keeled over from a heart attack.
NPSHPC - PEFO #44
Chief Ranger George F. Baggley, 1930, Yellowstone National Park.
Baggley is the typically well-dressed ranger. He married Herma Albertson,
an early female ranger, in 1933 and went on to serve in a superintendent
capacity for many years.
NPSHPC - YELL/130,123
Ranger Force, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, 1932.
Left to right: Standing: Nayes, Luther, McKinney, Hutchins, Duncan, Burns, Horne,
Seated: Sneed, Graves, Dean, Hill, Yardley, Harkness, Hansen, Vandegrif, Conkis, Saxe
Ground: Clark, Puckett, Edwards, Woodrow, Boles, Lehnert, Little, House
Missing: Sedberry, Nealis, Nichols.
NPSHPC - CACA #7488
Last Updated: 01-Apr-2016