We have newspaper accounts that claim the Browns wore three uniforms in 1885, however photography only shows us one. The newspaper account in question is from 1886, the following season, claiming “the club had three suits.” The Browns after the 1884 season were becoming popular, and won the Association in 1885. Becoming champions of their league, many photographs and artist rendition of the players from 1885 began being produced. All of the visual samples we have show the same thing, though. Presumably white shirts with the same ST. LOUIS lettering and train conductor hats. We have no other newspapaer accounts or visual cues to tell us what the other two uniforms would have looked like. There is a possibility that the second and third uniforms were simply extras, copies of the primary uniform, and used as backups to withstand the entire season.

Perhaps the other 1885 article gives us a slight clue. The Post Dispatch claims the Browns uniforms in 1885 are quite ugly, but aren’t as “uncouth” as the Chicago uniforms. In the 1890s we have a newspaper article that also uses the word uncouth to describe the Browns dark blue traveling uniform, saying it looks heavy and uncouth. Is it possible the Browns wore a dark colored traveling uniform in 1885? Was it all brown like later years in the 1890s?

History Mysteries:
Did the Browns have three uniforms in 1885?
Were these three uniforms different in design from eachother?
Did the Browns wear a dark colored traveling suit in 1885?
Was that dark suit all brown?

St. Louis Globe Democrat: February 11, 1886
Mr. Christ Von Der Ahe left last evening for Chicago to purchase new uniforms for the Browns. He says that there will be no change as to colors, but stronger and more durable cloth is needed. Last season the club had three suits, this season they will have five.

St. Louis Post Dispatch: March 21, 1885
A correspondent writes to me expressing his views on the St. Louis’ use of the brown in their uniform. It is undoubtedly as ugly a combination as could be got together, but with the polka dot shirts used last year was redeemed very materially. At the same time the uniform is not near so unsightly and uncouth looking as is that of the Chicagos, and its virtue rests in the same circumstance that it is the club color. The Chicago people will always insist upon “the Whites” being known by their original title and the St. Louis people could not be induced to speak otherwise but of the Browns

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