The museum’s beginnings can be traced back to 1953 when the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, Virginia organized a collection of reproduction period uniforms for use in the school’s courses of instruction on uniform fitting and sizing. In 1954 two World War II vintage buildings were opened to house the uniforms. This popular classroom exhibit was often referred to as the “museum”.
The museum was officially established in February 1957, with these uniforms and donations of quartermaster related items forming the core of the collection. Several artifacts came from the major former Quartermaster Depots at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Jeffersonville, Indiana; and the Quartermaster Remount Depot at Front Royal, Virginia.
The 20,000 square foot main museum building was completed in June 1963. Construction was funded by private contributions and loans to the Quartermaster Memorial Corporation (now the Army Quartermaster Foundation, Inc.). Upon completion the building was donated to the U.S. Government.
The museum building was dedicated in 1976 to honor of Brigadier General John A. Spencer, Jr. General Spencer was instrumental in the establishment of the museum.
Fund raising efforts by the Army Quartermaster Foundation, Inc., have resulted in several expansions of the original museum building.
In October 1993, the museum added a 100-seat multipurpose auditorium dedicated to Major General Robert M. Littlejohn. Littlejohn was the World War II Quartermaster for the European Theater of Operations and tireless supporter of the museum.
In June 1998 a research and learning center was completed and dedicated to Major General Joseph E. Peklik, the driving force behind fund raising for this expansion effort. This addition houses the museum curator, library, archival storage, conservation laboratory and collection study area.