Epaulettes first appeared on British uniforms in the second half of the 18th century. The epaulette was officially incorporated into Royal Navy uniform regulations in 1795, although some officers wore them before this date. Under this system Flag Officers wore silver stars on their epaulettes to distinguish their ranks. A Captain with at least three years seniority had two plain epaulettes, while a Junior Captain wore one on the right shoulder, and a Commander one of the left
10 Nov 41: The US Army updates uniform regulations, replacing the WWI-era doughboy helmet with the iconic M-1 steel helmet, which will be standard issue for the US military for over 40 years. Over 22 million will be made by the end of World War II. More: http://scanningwwii.com/a?d=1110&s=411110 #WWII
Breeches for a captain's uniform, circa 1774. In 1774 the uniform regulations were changed and blue breeches that were stipulated in the 1748 regulations were replaced with white breeches. The four buttons on each of the knees are of horn, faced with brass that has been die-stamped with the foul anchor motif. National Maritime Museum
Pair of captain's epaulettes belonging to J. Stockham (died 1814). The regulations of 1812 stipulated that captains should now wear two epaulettes with insignia that indicated their rank: the fouled anchor and a crown. The epualettes have 20 large bullions and 17 small ones. On the shoulder pad of each is an embroidered 'S'. Royal Navy uniform regulations 1812-1825
Hat of a flag officer, belonging to Rear-Admiral John Spratt Rainier (circa 1778-1822). Hats are not mentioned in uniform regulations until 1795, but in terms of style they tended to follow the lead of fashionable dress. However, the width of the lace on the hat indicated rank. Made in 1821
Replica of a British Royal Navy Lieutenant's Uniform, circa 1800-1811. This image shows a Lieutenant's full dress uniform including a detail of the button twist on the lapels and collar along with the belt plate and an undress fore-and-aft bicorn (chapeau bras). While the 1795 dress regulations established this uniform, its cut matches that of the post-1800 period like at the Battle of Trafalgar.