Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Beret

Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Beret

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This white beret (or tam-o-shanter) was given to Harvey E. Whitman as a national scholarship winner in 1948 during the annual Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild convention in Detroit. 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.
Object Name
date made
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harvey E. Whitman
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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