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Dead medium: the Pigeon Post
From: (David Morton)

(((bruces remarks: I have in hand some Necronaut contributions which will establish without doubt that there was considerable military pigeon activity during World War II. Stay tuned.)))

Hi Bruce,

Regarding the "pigeon vest" anecdote (Working Note 35.0). I don't know if pigeons were used in the second World War, but I do know of a WWII-era product called the "pigeon vest. " It was not worn by the pigeon, but by a soldier, specifically a paratrooper, who was to carry with him as he jumped one or more pigeons in the pockets of this vest.

I don't know if this is exactly the product that the earlier message referred to, but it does indicate that the U.S. army intended to use pigeons during WWII. Incidently, the source of this information is an army technical manual that I found on the shelf at the Rutgers University library.

Dave Morton (

From: (Candi Strecker)
Subject: Vests ... for Pigeons?

I asked Lynn Peril of "Mystery Date" where she saw the citation about Maidenform making pigeon vests, and she replied as follows. Feel free to post if you wish. Best, Candi

To: (Candi Strecker)

From: (Lynn Peril)
Subject: Vests ... for Pigeons?

I originally picked up the quote from a secondary source == Marilyn Yalom's *History of the Breast* == then found the primary source: a PR brochure called "Maidenform, Inc.: A Company Built By A Brand."

Published by Maidenform in 1992, this pamphlet recounts the company's history from the 1920s to the early 1990s. It includes the following:

"(((Maidenform's wartime))) Manufacturing concentrated on products for the Armed Forces, ranging from parachutes for flares to vests for carrier pigeons."

And then there's a picture of what looks like a pigeon in bondage, including a little black hood. Now, as to whether the army used any of these pigeon vests == who knows? But Maidenform, by its own account, was making them.

Hope that clears up any questions! May I ask you to post this as a follow up at the Dead Media list?

David Morton (
Lynn Peril (
Candi Strecker (