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  1. #1
    Snafoo's Avatar
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    Default What would Harry Truman wear?

    I don't usually go in for threads of this genre, but in this case I actually have an answer.

    I had the pleasure of being given a personal tour of the Truman Library in Independence, MO by the curator of the museum (he's my wife's cousin's husband). The museum collection contains over 25,000 artifacts, all catalogued and stored in large archive cabinets. He showed us Harry's WWI uniforms (including socks and underwear), Bess Truman's wedding dress, a war room map from the White House labeled Top Secret (since declassified), and hundreds of other fascinating items.

    He then opened a case labeled "HST Toiletries"; among the items was a very old looking bottle of 4711. The liquid had long since evaporated, leaving a brownish goo in the bottom of the bottle. I wanted to ask if I could smell it, and would have if there had been anything left in the bottle, but we had to go on. And considering the longevity of 4711, I doubt that there would have been any scent remaining after 75 years.

    In all, a fascinating trip back in time. I'd recommend a visit to the Truman Library to anyone visiting the Kansas City MO area, especially if you're interested in post-WWII history.
    Last edited by Snafoo; 31st December 2007 at 12:18 PM.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  2. #2

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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    That's too cool! I asked for and received the book "Truman" for Christmas. David McCullough is turing into a favorite author since I devoured "1776" last month. What a book!!

    I'm looking forward to learning more about Truman.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    My other half grew up in Independence. He lived very near the Trumans; everyone in town knew them. (They were very down-to-earth people.)
    He also went to school K-12 with a Canadian immigrant named Grant MacMurray (the man who would later go on to become the first non-Smith to hold the Presidency of the RLDS ("the Missouri Mormons", whose temple/headquarters is in Independence). But back to Harry.

    I'd have to guess something folksy and readily available, likely bay rum or lime water. Maybe in later years he graduated to Caswell Massey or something like that.
    Last edited by tvlampboy; 31st December 2007 at 02:14 PM.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Interesting. I think he loved Bess, but I think Bess was frankly not totally in love with him. She and her mother were two pieces of work.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Supposedly, they were the most boring family (even more so than the Coolidges) to have ever occupied the White House. If not boring per se, at least the least interested in glamor or pomp or any of that crap. Very, very homespun folk.

    Per former staff at the White House, Bess and Margaret knitted, played hymns and read a lot while Harry smoked, read, listened to the radio and played solitaire whenever he had a free moment. Perhaps a little bay rum was all the spice poor Harry had in his life. (Looking at Bess, I daresay that that Old Ironsides likely never was known for her intense piquancy in any department.)

    By the way, on a side note, be sure to visit the aforementioned Truman Library if you ever get the chance. It's a magnificent late Art Deco building with incredible murals by none other than Thomas Hart Benton himself.
    Last edited by tvlampboy; 31st December 2007 at 02:24 PM.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  6. #6

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    ...and I thought he was a Dunhill for Men (1934) kind of guy.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Dunno -- that strikes me as a much more Roosevelt kinda frag. Harry was a man of the people and probably wouldn't have indulged much in fancy British frags. (Dunhill was kinda pricy back then, and not too widely available in this country.) I'm gonna stick with bay rum or Caswell Massey or something along those lines.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  8. #8
    A Site For Sore Eyes

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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    IMO he was one of a very few modern US Presidents to have personal integrity. The movie adaption of the book with Gary Sinese as Truman was well done. I would have expected him to have used something very mild and low sillaged and barbershopie in aroma.
    Last edited by kbe; 31st December 2007 at 03:06 PM.
    Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me
    Like days of old. Lighting the spark of love that fills me
    with dreams untold..--Twilight Time

  9. #9

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    I agree, KBE. He probably would have cringed, too, at the thought of calling something he wore "eau de toilette" or "eau de cologne," even. Probably would have used the term "aftershave" or "tonic" or even the hilarious "smellum good" of lore long before he'd have called it something construed as fancy-schmancy to an old Midwestern boy.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  10. #10

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Probably a C&M frag?

  11. #11

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texican View Post
    Probably a C&M frag?
    Already been there -- scroll up. I know that Kennedy was supposedly a Jockey Club man.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  12. #12
    Snafoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Yes, Truman was down-to-earth, forthright, honest, etc. - a classic early 20th century Missourian - but he was also quite meticulous in his sartorial habits. Don't forget (?) that HST owned a haberdashery in Kansas City before he entered politics. His clothing tastes tended toward the conservative, but he always looked GOOD.

    Since I only saw the one bottle of 4711 in the archives, I don't know what else he may have used. I agree with others here that Caswell-Massey would have fit him perfectly. Perhaps Jockey Club, or No. 6, the supposed cologne of that other president, George Washington.
    Last edited by Snafoo; 31st December 2007 at 03:48 PM.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  13. #13

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    IMO he was one of a very few modern US Presidents to have personal integrity. The movie adaption of the book with Gary Sinese as Truman was well done. I would have expected him to have used something very mild and low sillaged and barbershopie in aroma.
    IIRC, he worked as a Habadasher before going into politics. Thus pre-WWII stuff like 4711 (which is known to have been used) or Pinaud Clubman would seem about right. Various spicy fragrances such as Bay Rum or Old Spice could also have been right. I'm also going to guess that he would have liked Brooks Brothers EdT.

    AFAIK some of the land next to his family farm was owned by relatives of Wyatt Earp.
    Last edited by Nitromusk; 1st January 2008 at 07:30 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Oh, how should I say this...

    Ten years ago I lived in Kansas City and worked in a couple of independent video stores that my boss owned. Half the time, I was working at a store in Raytown-- the other time I was in Independence...

    I don't say this in any mean spirited way, but after a shift of just standing behind a counter for a few hours at the Independence store, I'd need a serious shower just from the people I'd come into contact with-- it was insane the way their funk would latch onto you and your clothes. I couldn't even pop into the grocery store after a shift without being self conscious.

    So while I don't know what cologne Harry Truman would wear, I do very much know the smell of his hometown...

    I'd always thought Independence should have been a smoking hole in the ground-- how ironic it was that it was the home of Truman!

    I hope I didn't offend anyone from Independence. I actually kind of miss the place. I had some really fun(ny) times there.


    BTW, Snafoo, I love your Dr. F Avatar. I'm a MST3K fanatic. I even have a t-shirt that says "Castleton" on it (From the episode "Time Chasers")
    Last edited by Indie_Guy; 1st January 2008 at 08:37 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    It was a very nice, very clean little Midwestern town when Paul grew up there in the Fifties and Sixties. Today, however, it's pretty shabby.
    The historic districts are still pretty posh, but most of Independence is really sad and dreary. (Paul and I call it "Meth-dependence" now.)

    If you ever get the chance to go to KC, though, you really ought to go to Independence, esp. if you're into Mormon, Western Trail and/or Truman history -- the town is chockful of historical interest in those regards. Also, Clem's has the greatest hamburgers west of the Mississippi (and this is, mind you, coming from someone who's practically a vegan).
    Last edited by tvlampboy; 1st January 2008 at 09:25 PM.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  16. #16

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Caron L'Anarchiste.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Quote Originally Posted by somethinpositiv View Post
    Caron L'Anarchiste.
    lolololololololololololol!

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  18. #18
    A Site For Sore Eyes

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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    This is interesting . I can't locate the text identifying the Top Brass Aftershave and Top Brass Cologne as being used by H S Truman but it appears to indicate they were his.

    http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/ex...HSTR19658.html
    Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me
    Like days of old. Lighting the spark of love that fills me
    with dreams untold..--Twilight Time

  19. #19

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Perhaps Aqua Velva or Old Spice.
    Green Dragon

    Aliquando et insanire iucundum est.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    This is interesting . I can't locate the text identifying the Top Brass Aftershave and Top Brass Cologne as being used by H S Truman but it appears to indicate they were his.

    http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/ex...HSTR19658.html
    Revlon makes a "Top Brass" brand hairgoom, which you can find at walgreens. It's similar to Brylcreem or Suave Clean and Groom, predating acrylates copolymer based hair gels. Use about a dimes worth to give your hair natural control and an oily sheen. It has a floral scent vaguely similar to Pinaud Lilac Vegetal aftershave.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    I'd always thought Independence should have been a smoking hole in the ground-- how ironic it was that it was the home of Truman!
    At time's I've felt that way about much of missouri.

    http://www.kodachrome.org/branson/ ;-)
    Last edited by Nitromusk; 1st January 2008 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  21. #21
    Snafoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    I'd always thought Independence should have been a smoking hole in the ground-- how ironic it was that it was the home of Truman!
    No offense taken. I spent my high school years in Independence and couldn't get out of there fast enough; even tested out of my senior year just to accelerate the escape. And I agree with tvlampboy - Independence is looking pretty dodgy these days. I don't think it's ironic at all that Truman came from such a place (albeit from better times). After all, he was about as middle-America as one could get, and whatever else they may be accused of, folks from Independence are most definitely middle-America.

    kbe's link is to Truman's home, which is a few blocks from the Truman library. I'd wager that the Top Brass cologne there post-dates the 4711 I saw at the library.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    BTW, Snafoo, I love your Dr. F Avatar. I'm a MST3K fanatic. I even have a t-shirt that says "Castleton" on it (From the episode "Time Chasers")
    Definitely in my top five list of fave TV shows. So, what fragrance would Dr. F. wear? Habit Vert?
    Last edited by Snafoo; 2nd January 2008 at 02:36 PM.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  22. #22

    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafoo View Post
    Definitely in my top five list of fave TV shows. So, what fragrance would Dr. F. wear? Habit Vert?

    lol. I remember one episode where the Mads were talking about something that "leaves behind the great smell of Brut" and they couldn't get through it without cracking up. Another time I think they said something about Hai Karate. In the episode "Space Mutiny" Crow cracked, "Look, he made a bomb out of soap and Paco Rabanne". Also in the episode "Skydivers" one of them comments "I bet she smells like Arpege, Juicy Fruit, Cigarettes and Body Odor". Pretty funny. I'm trying to think of more fragrance references in MST3K.

    There was one segment where TV's Frank and Dr. F had come up with some lethal "Impostor" fragrances-- and they were prancing around like SA's, spraying each other with "Satan's Jockstrap"...

  23. #23

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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Caswell Massey No. 6, and when feeling wild and crazy (and he did have those moments with his wardrobe) Tricorn.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What would Harry Truman wear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Frances View Post
    Caswell Massey No. 6, and when feeling wild and crazy (and he did have those moments with his wardrobe) Tricorn.
    Yeah, he was a big fan of tropical (Hawaiian) shirts; there were quite a few in the library collection. Perhaps worn with Royall Bay Rhum or Lyme Bermuda?
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

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