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American Red Cross nurse's uniform

American Red Cross nurse's uniform

This American Red Cross nurse's uniform, worn by Elizabeth Hensel of St. Paul, consists of a heavily starched white cotton dress with blue collar, red cross sewn at right collar, and three red stripes on the left forearm, a pair of dark blue cotton cuffs, a white lawn "Priscilla" cap, an organdy head band with a red cross at front, and a navy blue lawn headpiece with white organdy front piece featuring a red cross and blue stripe.

Hensel was in her late 30s when she served in the Red Cross during the war. Before the war, she lived with her parents and brothers in St. Paul. When she returned home, she again lived with her father, a railroad paymaster, her mother, and her youngest brother. The 1930 census, which inquired about residents' military service in recent wars, did not note Hensel's service. Because women were not officially part of the U.S. military, their partcipation in the war was not counted in this census question.