National Affairs: Waste Coats

On June 29, 1946, the Army's Quartermaster Corps was just itching to spend money. Appropriations for 1946 would expire the very next day, and unless there was some quick action, millions of unspent Army dollars would flow back into the U.S. Treasury. Hardly any Government bureau wants that to happen. Before the day was out, the Quartermaster Corps ordered 1,262,000 overcoats at a cost of some $45 million.

The Army already had a stock of more than 1,000,000 overcoats, but the new coat had a remarkable new feature: attached to the back hem were two flaps designed as leggings, to snap around...

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