Big Red here with another question from "Mort Walker"...
So, TAKE FIVE!
“Big Red, why don’t any of my Neck Bands measure up to the drawing dimensions they say they are supposed to be?”
Wow Mort, you are taking this Neck Band thing really seriously,
Allow me to explain,
If you select an arbitrary assortment of Neck Bands marked the same size from various manufacturers and line them up you will notice some interesting differences. In many cases the overall length of the bands will be slightly different, snaps are not always the same distance in from the edge and, even on the same band, the snaps often don’t line up.
It is hard sometimes to remember, in our modern technological world, that precision computer machines did not always exist in manufacturing and that every part of the liner’s suspension was measured and cut by hand.
That having been said, the most significant reason that even a new old stock, (NOS), Neck Band will not measure up is because they were measured and cut under tension.
This was done to compensate for the stretch of the fabric and ensure desired length of the strap once snapped in place. In fact all webbing measurements were taken under tension to prevent excessive pull on a liner body causing distortion.
The effect of excessive tension is readily visible on many surviving examples of the fibre liner where the suspension has contracted inward on its attachment points creating indentures on the outside of the liner around the rivet.
Furthermore, the Chicago Quartermaster Depot being directly responsible for procuring the removable inserts for the liner such as the Neck Band, in compliance with Government directive, disseminated contracts for these items to “smaller war plants.” The idea being that even though a smaller business might have to charge more to make an item, doing so would increase the volume or speed of production and would aid in clearing bottlenecks. During 1942 and 1943, approximately 13 percent of all Neck Band procurement was issued to small war plants meaning that, depending on the size of an order, anywhere from 8 to 20 different firms could be involved in the items manufacture.
This practice did not prevent delinquencies on orders and perhaps even increased the occurrence of bottlenecks but it makes for some interesting variations of liner inserts.
Big Red Says!
FIVE'S OVER - MOVE OUT!