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P1903 Mills Cartridge Belt (pre-patent marked hardware)


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#1 US Victory Museum

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:21 PM

Although this is an item of personal gear, I am posting it
in this section because the collectors interested in this
era are more likely to see it here and to appreciate it.

I consider this quite scarce because in all the time that
I have observed auctions on Ebay, at least those for which
detailed photographs of the button snaps are included, this
is the first set I have encountered in several years while
searching.

This is an early 1st pattern 1903 cartridge belt (pre-patent
dates on the hardware) that uses a unique glove snap fastener.

_01a Mills 1903 1st Pat. A.jpg


I recently updated an old posting found in the reference
section that compares and contrasts the evolved changes by
Mills and Russell, as recognized by collectors, to place a
belt within its historical context.

The entire discussion can be found here:
http://www.usmilitar...artridge-belts/

 



#2 US Victory Museum

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:21 PM

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#3 US Victory Museum

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:22 PM

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#4 US Victory Museum

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:22 PM

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#5 US Victory Museum

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:23 PM

END POST

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#6 Terry K.

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:53 PM

Looks like new!

Man, you keep finding the good stuff.



#7 GWS

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 04:00 PM

Yes that is a rare belt indeed. Congrats! My earliest Mills must have been the next variation belt Mills made as it has the narrow tip ends with only 1904 patent dates and a different snap than your belt. Ironically, that same snap was also used by Russell on their early smooth pocket belt.  Another feature of both your "1st variation" belt and my "2 variation"  belt is that no Mills logo appears anywhere on either belt! Yours has plain tips and mine has only 1904 patent dates. I don't believe mine ever had the Mills bullet ink stamp either. It also strikes me a bit odd that Mills didn't inlude the the Jan. 29 '01 patent on either of these belts but they did on the later ones which have '01, '04 and '07 patent dates. 

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#8 GWS

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 04:03 PM

Here's the early Russell snap and the 1907 Patent Mill's snap:

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#9 GWS

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 04:05 PM

Opps, my belt does have the '01 date( its so easy to see in the photo!)



#10 Dr_rambow

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 05:09 PM

Funny you should post this; I just received an identical example in the mail today. 

 

It has a similar lack of any markings.

 

With the cost of the average M1903 and M1910 belts falling, I was worried that I had paid too much.

 

Do you know when the '04 patent date hardware was implemented?

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#11 US Victory Museum

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 06:08 PM

Thanks for the follow-up, guys.

GWS wrote:
I don't believe mine ever had the Mills bullet ink stamp either.

That would be correct, Sir.  Mills did not begin to ink stamp
their logo until 1910.  Since only Mills used the narrow end
clasps, all these type belts are unquestionably Mills Mfg.


What I found fascinating is that Mills initially produced these
belts using the C-clasp to close them.  I am re-posting these
images from New Romantic's original post (see link in my post)
from the Journal of the United States artillery c. 1904 -

_1.jpg _2.jpg

I'm sorry for the low resolution pictures; however, I could not
find this date of Journal at either of these sites to download
better:

http://catalog.hathitrust.org
http://www.archives.gov
 

Note the C-clamp and glove snap in this image:

_3.png

 

 

Nice find, Dr_rambow!  Did you know the significance of it when
you bought it?

 



#12 Pointedcuffs

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 06:23 PM

Awesome. That is a very hard belt to find!




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