The origin of the red shirt


August 25, 1866
I may be permitted to point out the very simple origin of a garment which has now become historical – the red shirt. It is simply the habitual upper vestment of the American merchant sailor. Any Liverpudlian will tell you that fifteen years ago a sure distinction might be drawn between the British tars and the Yankee “salts” in the port of Liverpool, from the first wearing blue and the last scarlet flannel shirts or frocks. When Garibaldi first took the command of a merchantman in Baltimore, he probably expended a couple of dollars in the purchase of a red shirt, and, finding it comfortable, has stick to it ever since. – Mr. Sala.
(Source: The Dunfermline: August 25, 1866)

Garibaldi red shirts

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