Thanks for looking onto the thread.
Not sure if this has been done before but I thought it might be of some interest to post a "timeline" showing the evolution of the service cap.
The aim is to cover the changes in regulations and development of the service cap through the Imperial,Weimar and Third Reich periods.
The idea is to put examples with each section to illustarte what the cap looks like and thus visually highlight the changes.
The information below is purely my understanding of the matter and is certainly not to be taken verbatim. Any additions, corrections and postive criticism will be gratefully received.
A Brief History......
The peaked cap developed from the common soldiers "stable cap" popular in the early 1800's.
The stable cap was worn more and more in place of a helmet which at this time where uncomfortable, ill fitting and burdensome.
The peaked cap was initially reserved for officers and then later for senior NCO's (1844 onwards for the rank of feldwebel).
From 1873 the peaked cap became a standard piece of clothing issued by the uniform depots to NCO's.
The ranks were not granted this item as a regular piece of their outfits until 1919.
The Imperial Cap.
Officers headgear was made of a dyed cloth and always provided with a peak.
The style of these caps uptill 1900 was governed by fashion and the changing nature of the German army as states were absorbed into the empire from 1866 onwards. A certain standardisation was required towards the PRUSSIAN style of headress as the dominant state.
The peaked caps for Prussian Officers followed a simple colour scheme and were made of blue cloth and had a red cap band. Ofiicer cockades served as ornaments.
As the caps were all private purchase the materials, linings and quality of cloth varied.
Caps for officers unlike the field cap were stiffened at the sides as well as the top.
Wearing of the blue officers cap was permitted until 1913.
Below are the examples of a Bavarian nco cap circa 1890, another Bavarian nco cap with the addition of the state cockade from 1897 onwards, and an officers cap showing the state cockade for Hesse circa 1900-1910.