Possible Civil War Hospital Canteen or Hot Water Tin
Posted 26 July 2019 - 04:37 PM
Any comments are greatly appreciated!
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Posted 29 October 2019 - 12:23 PM
These seem pretty clearly to be nineteenth or early twentieth century equivalents of hot water bottles that are curved to fit the body. Their Civil War connection is less certain. I don't know of any listings among hospital or medical stores or period photos of them. There might be, but I simply can't think of any offhand. If they are of the period and civilian, they still might have made their way into a general hospital or something like that in the same way that various other civilian items might for the comfort of patients.
They have been accepted as "medical canteens" since their publication in the first volume of Lord. He illustrates one with what seems to be a standard bracket for a strap showing on one side (P.166.) That strikes me as earlier than the wire loops shown on this one. Whether it is wartime is another question. Another illustrated in the same photo has no brackets, is said to be pewter and marked "Compton & Co., C & M, 1861." That marking would indicate British manufacture. Dammann in Vol. 2, p69, of Medical Instruments shows one he describes as "kidney bean," with no brackets or loops showing, and painted "U.S. / M. Dept." I would have my doubts about the paint, but even if real the markings seem postwar.
All the canteens noted above have spouts on top. I suspect the spout on the side might be an innovation to keep it from spilling if the person wearing it is lying down. I don't know about the screw top and swiveling wire loops. They strike me as much after the CW, but I know there were some early screw tops on things.
I don't think they pass muster as canteens to carry water to the wounded or anything like that. A simple issue canteen would do as well and probably carrying a lot more water.
Posted 29 October 2019 - 08:44 PM
Just looking at this item makes me think 80's or 90's. I don't think this is 50's or even 60's. My opinion. I'd say this is an early attempt to ease pain on hips, lower torso, possibly chest. It's old, but not American Civil War old.
Edited by iron bender, 29 October 2019 - 08:50 PM.
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