Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Beret

Description
This blue beret (or tam-o-shanter) was given to Harvey E. Whitman during his visit to Detroit as a regional winner in the 1947 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild competition. The beret bears the diamond Fisher Body logo, featuring a central image of a Napoleonic coach surrounded by the letters “FBCG” at each point. From 1930 until about 1949, convention attendees wore a blue beret during the annual convention, while white berets were given to the national scholarship winners. Berets were substituted for dress jackets with a FBCG logo on the breast during the 1950s.
From 1930 until 1968, the Fisher Body Division of General Motors sponsored the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild and its annual model-building competition. For the first seven years of the contest, the young men in the Guild built models of a Napoleonic carriage (the Fisher Body logo) to show their high precision skills in craftsmanship. In 1937 the contest expanded to include model automobiles, which became a source of inspiration for new GM automobiles. By 1948 model cars became the only accepted entry for the contest. Winning car models were both practical and stylish original designs made with superior craftsmanship on an exacting 1/12th scale. For General Motors, the competition was a major public relations success while also serving as a type of design aptitude test for the entrants. For the young men of the Guild, the contest was a chance to win scholarships, cash prizes, and an once-in-a-lifetime all-expenses paid trip to Detroit for the regional winners. Designs featured in these models would often presage production automobiles, as many winners went on to work for General Motors or other automotive companies as designers.
Location
Currently not on view
associated institution
Fisher Body Craftman's Guild
ID Number
1987.0049.03
accession number
1987.0049
catalog number
1987.0049.03
87.0049.03
Credit Line
Harvey E. Whitman
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild
Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

"I too have acquired a fisher body craftsman's guild vehicle. I have the first series car. the 1930's miniature model Napoleonic coach. The I have is not in the best of shape, but it did come with the original wooden crate. which I thought was awesome. I also have a complete starter kit that GM put out which has not lost any of its integrity. complete with a book of instructions. I also have acquired news paper articles that came out over the year explaining how to install, make, reproduce and design each part. very informing as well as being another big parts of the history or this time. I have it in an album for easy reading as well as protecting the paper. I would love to find some interested in completely rebuilding the original one of a kind find."

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