M 1943 Railway (NKPS) Officer dress visor hat, 1943 - 1955.
In dark blue wool gabardine with black velvet band and green piping. There is a regulation hat badge of WW2 type in brass plated-steel and enamel near the top of the crown as well as WW2 railway hat badge of crossed wrench and hammer in brass on the band. The WW2 era, undated side buttons display the same railway insignia. Comes complete with original chin strap and characteristically early rounded visor. There is a faint maker mark on the liner, almost completely worn-out and illegible. The hat is approximately size 56, should fit at least a US size 7 head (Medium).
In very good to excellent condition. The hat has retained its shape beautifully. Both the gabardine fabric of the crown and velvet band are completely free of the usual moth damage. There are a couple of small areas of discoloration to the top of the crown and some wear along its edge on the back, but none of it is very noticeable or significantly detractive. There is moderate amount of wear to the bottom edge of the band and the sweat band, but both are completely sound. The satin liner is clean and free of tears. A couple of stiches attaching the visor have come undone on the right (to the viewer) edge of the visor, but the overall attachment is still perfectly tight. Overall, a very attractive piece!
This very uncommon and interesting piece of headgear was a part of dress uniform of railway officers of junior to senior ranks from 1943-1955. Known as NKPS and later, MPS (for Narkomat [People's Commissariat] of Roads of Transportation and Ministry of Roads of Transportation, respectively) the organization that ran vast Soviet railroad system was a powerful bureaucracy, almost a state within a state. Its uniformed employees had a rigid system of ranks and were subject to strict military-like discipline. A testimony to their efficiency is performance of Soviet railways during WW2, when they made a key contribution to Soviet survival and eventual victory.
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