National Park Service
National Park Service Uniforms
Ironing Out the Wrinkles, 1920-1932
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Deland Taylor
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
John H. Wegner, c. 1920, ranger, Yosemite National Park.
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
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

Albright and Oddie
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 Congress.

Charles F. Adair
Charles F. "Charlie" Adair 1925, ranger at Yosemite National Park.
Adair is out on patrol astride his horse Rusty.
NPSHPC Carl P. Russell Collection - HFC/86-239

H. Bowman
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
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.

NPS personnel
"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
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
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

The "OLD"

Forrest Sanford Townsley
Forrest Sanford Townsley with horse, 1926, chief ranger, Yosemite National Park.
Townsley's saddle blanket has a star with NPS in the center.

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.

Elk Antler Gate
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 Woodring.
Courtesy of the Montana Historical Society - Ellicott W. Hunter photo - H-26266

Mounted Yellowstone Park Ranger Force
Mounted Yellowstone Park Ranger force, 1926.
Superintendent Horace M. Albright, left, and Chief Ranger Samuel T. Woodring, third from left.

rangers at Yosemite NP
A high country winter, 1926, rangers at Yosemite National Park.
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
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

Grant Pearson
Ranger Grant Pearson on Patrol at McLeod Creek in 1927, Denali National Park.
"History of Mount McKinley National Park", Pearson - HFC/DENA #912

Gabriel Sovulewski
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 and daughter Marian Albright, Herbert Hoover
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.

Charles Adair
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
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
Milo Shepler Decker, c. 1929, chief ranger, Sequoia National Park.
National Archives / 79-SM-29

Toll, Kiski and wife
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)

Office staff, Mesa Verde NP
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

Adair and Nelson
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.

Boss Pinkley
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.

George F. Baggley
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 NP
Ranger Force, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, 1932.
Left to right: Standing: Nayes, Luther, McKinney, Hutchins, Duncan, Burns, Horne, Lewis, Ashcraft
Seated: Sneed, Graves, Dean, Hill, Yardley, Harkness, Hansen, Vandegrif, Conkis, Saxe
Ground: Clark, Puckett, Edwards, Woodrow, Boles, Lehnert, Little, House
Missing: Sedberry, Nealis, Nichols.

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Last Updated: 01-Apr-2016