The History of Lost Socks

Believe it or not there is a long history of socks and most especially for lost socks. There is actually a governmental agency that deals with lost socks. The Bureau of Lost Socks was begun on August 1st, 1861.

It was originally a company the Union Army during the Civil War. Joseph Smithson was really good at Haberdashery but as a soldier - he did not do well. He was put in charge of the enlisted men as well as the officers and their socks. His skill for stocking and purchasing items were strong assets in this new position.

He tried to control costs and his unit was the most tightly run and honest unit. Major Smithson did not want to buy men new socks but rather he wanted to keep and maintain the ones the army already had. He ordered that said that soldiers were required each man in the north forces turn in a used sock before they are issued another one. This order was only in effect for a week. Another general ordered that each soldier must turn in a pair of socks before getting replacements. He discovered that the men only lost one sock at a time.

The only created field company that was only responsible for the darning, knitting, and issuing socks in the army that was trained to work behind the front lines. When Smithson couldn't get darning eggs, he created a Field Sock Darning kit. This units purpose evolved over the years. In 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall the units purpose was questioned. In 1994 the bureau mission was changed to solving the mystery of missing socks. It became important to the US government as the State Departments and the Department of Defense.


By: Jerry Smith


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