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USMC Shovel Cover, WWI?


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#1 New Romantic

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 06:51 AM

I just picked up this decent USMC shovel cover off eBAy. It came with a shovel, didn't need one b/c I already have a few of those.

Is this cover WWI vintage? The strap is made from the thin web tape I've read were peculiar to the USMC covers even through WWII. Were these ever depot marked? I can't find any markings, even on the inside.

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Edited by Morals and Decadence, 20 April 2007 - 06:51 AM.


#2 Schnicklfritz

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 08:18 PM

Hi,
Your cover is a typical USMC Depot made shovel cover. I believe the webbing on the strap is particular to the USMC depot made items. Nice pick up!
Marc

#3 New Romantic

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:54 AM

Thanks Marc. I've read that these covers with the thin web tape were made post WWI. Any thoughts on this? I'm not much of a post WWI collector anymore, my main concentration is WWI. I figured this cover would work for my WWI USMC display, until I find a wartime made cover.

#4 Greg Robinson

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 06:28 AM

The web tape straps were typically used by the USMC Phila Depot in the pre/early WW2 period. Just look at some of their M1941 packs and you see similar construction and I have a Depot made pick mattock carrier with that same strap, square tip end, and cast bronze buckle. I'm told there was a problem at the Depot stitching the heavier web straps....something to do with a lack of proper machinery. Anyway, that's what I've always been told. Regardless of why it was used, you've got a very hard to find USMC item there and it appears to be in top condition. Seems like most you see have some degree of damage at the top where the blade of the shovle has rubbed a hole. Congrats on a nice pick up.

#5 Greg Robinson

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 06:32 AM

If they ever marked those I've not seen it. But that didn't stop a dealer from having some made up with a large bold "USMC" stamped on the outside. Bogus as hell, of course. :(

#6 New Romantic

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 08:57 AM

Ahhh, I was waiting for your input on this Greg as you seem to be the only collector on the forums that posts these things. I did compare it to the other USMC covers you have. One of yours appears to be an early Army M1910 cover?

I'd like to find one of those pick mattock carriers. Anyhow these early USMC items don't appear too much on eBay.

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#7 Greg Robinson

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 01:01 PM

Yeah.....one of my covers is a "maybe" for being USMC. But it having the square end tips on the strap and no markings in the usual Army contract locations makes it a possible.

Greg


Ahhh, I was waiting for your input on this Greg as you seem to be the only collector on the forums that posts these things. I did compare it to the other USMC covers you have. One of yours appears to be an early Army M1910 cover?

I'd like to find one of those pick mattock carriers. Anyhow these early USMC items don't appear too much on eBay.



#8 New Romantic

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:25 PM

It's hard to tell from the photo but at first glance the buckle looks flat, vs the familiar buckle found on most accouterments. If your buckle is flat, I'd date that before 1915 when the RIA switched to the newer buckle. The arsenal marking probably wore off, it would have been found inside the cover in a very light purple coloured ink. I have one of these dated 1913 which you've seen before on the old Gunboards forum.

#9 Greg Robinson

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 03:17 PM

It's hard to tell from the photo but at first glance the buckle looks flat, vs the familiar buckle found on most accouterments. If your buckle is flat, I'd date that before 1915 when the RIA switched to the newer buckle. The arsenal marking probably wore off, it would have been found inside the cover in a very light purple coloured ink. I have one of these dated 1913 which you've seen before on the old Gunboards forum.


You're correct, the buckle is flat unlike the other cast bronze buckles I've seen. So it's early, probably Army. It has "history for hire" inkstamped on the inside so a movie studio property item and somebody has painted out markings, probably unit ID. It was sold to me as having USMC provenance, and who knows, maybe that's true, so I'll continue to call it a "maybe" USMC. But I appreciate the info. Regardless if Army or USMC, it's a neat early shovel cover and before today I didn't know that.

Greg

#10 Greg Robinson

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 05:53 AM

Ahhh, I was waiting for your input on this Greg as you seem to be the only collector on the forums that posts these things. I did compare it to the other USMC covers you have. One of yours appears to be an early Army M1910 cover?

I'd like to find one of those pick mattock carriers. Anyhow these early USMC items don't appear too much on eBay.


I just picked up another USMC cover that is identical in construction to the one shown in the pic on the top right. Except this one is unissued and has "U.S.M.C." stamped on the inside and the markings are consistent with how the Phila Depot marked their gear in the WW1 period. I'll post some pics ASAP.

Greg

#11 Greg Robinson

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:18 AM

I just picked up another USMC cover that is identical in construction to the one shown in the pic on the top right. Except this one is unissued and has "U.S.M.C." stamped on the inside and the markings are consistent with how the Phila Depot marked their gear in the WW1 period. I'll post some pics ASAP.

Greg


pics............

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#12 New Romantic

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:23 AM

pics............

Wow that is really nice Greg :lol: ! Where do you find these? Gunshows?

#13 Greg Robinson

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:42 AM

Wow that is really nice Greg :lol: ! Where do you find these? Gunshows?


I saw it on an internet dealer's website. I was a little concerned with it being a reproduction since the condition is almost too nice. But it's absolute identical to the other one of those I own and I know that one's legit. The markings on this latest one, now that I take a second look, might be a bit later....maybe post WW1 but still made long before WW2.

Greg

#14 New Romantic

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:56 AM

I saw it on an internet dealer's website. I was a little concerned with it being a reproduction since the condition is almost too nice. But it's absolute identical to the other one of those I own and I know that one's legit. The markings on this latest one, now that I take a second look, might be a bit later....maybe post WW1 but still made long before WW2.

Greg


I need to search harder on the internet then. Does this dealer have early USMC often?

I know of several online reproduction suppliers that make USMC shovel covers, the most accurate being Schipperfabrik. I posted their cover below. What Price Glory has the covers but with the incorrect rounded Army brass tip on the end of the web strap.

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#15 New Romantic

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:57 AM

Back of the Shipperfabrik cover

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Edited by Morals and Decadence, 11 May 2007 - 08:59 AM.


#16 Schnicklfritz

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:32 PM

Nice Shovel cover Greg. I believe I have one that is a little worse for wear, but still has the identical "USMC" mark on the inside along with the same construction details. I've been looking for quite a while for a nice mint one like that. The two hardest things that I've been trying to find to complete a mint set of early USMC web gear is the shovel cover and the USMC version of the first aid pouch.Hope I can complete it one day!
Cheers!
Marc

#17 Greg Robinson

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 03:44 AM

Nice Shovel cover Greg. I believe I have one that is a little worse for wear, but still has the identical "USMC" mark on the inside along with the same construction details. I've been looking for quite a while for a nice mint one like that. The two hardest things that I've been trying to find to complete a mint set of early USMC web gear is the shovel cover and the USMC version of the first aid pouch.Hope I can complete it one day!
Cheers!
Marc


Marc

Got to be very careful with "mint" USMC P1912 FA pouches. So many of them are fake, especially those that conveniently have "USMC" or names stamped on them. I own one that's a late pattern made after they dropped the grommets for the early wire hanger. It has a more pronounced rounded flap than WW1 pouches. I picked it up a few years ago and am about 95% certain it's correct but I'll never be absolutely certain of it. But here's a very nice one I own that I know for sure is correct. Came with a WW1 dated US Navy carlisle packet. And is the WW1 pattern with the grommets for the early wire hanger but was later modified. These are the pouches most commonly seen.

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#18 craig_pickrall

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:03 AM

This is the 2 I have, with and without fixed web hanger loop.

5A_First_Aid_Pouch_Plate_Front.jpg
5B_First_Aid_Pouch_Plate_Open_Front.jpg
5C_First_Aid_Pouch_Plate_Open_Rear.jpg

#19 New Romantic

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:57 AM

Marc

Got to be very careful with "mint" USMC P1912 FA pouches. So many of them are fake, especially those that conveniently have "USMC" or names stamped on them. I own one that's a late pattern made after they dropped the grommets for the early wire hanger. It has a more pronounced rounded flap than WW1 pouches. I picked it up a few years ago and am about 95% certain it's correct but I'll never be absolutely certain of it. But here's a very nice one I own that I know for sure is correct. Came with a WW1 dated US Navy carlisle packet. And is the WW1 pattern with the grommets for the early wire hanger but was later modified. These are the pouches most commonly seen.


This shouldn't be too hard. I don't have a USMC pouch but I'm assuming that they will have the "Carr" snaps as first aid pouches do from WWI through WWII. Take a look inside the dome of the female snap and you will see Carr's patent date. As far as I know there is no way to reproduce that little detail. The repros I have seen have plain blackend snaps from from a cheap metal. The originals as seen in in Greg's photo will be made from brass and so coloured.

#20 Greg Robinson

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:35 AM

This shouldn't be too hard. I don't have a USMC pouch but I'm assuming that they will have the "Carr" snaps as first aid pouches do from WWI through WWII. Take a look inside the dome of the female snap and you will see Carr's patent date. As far as I know there is no way to reproduce that little detail. The repros I have seen have plain blackend snaps from from a cheap metal. The originals as seen in in Greg's photo will be made from brass and so coloured.


Yes...I know about the CARR FASTENER CO. and it was doing that inspection that resulted in my upgrading the chances of authenticity to 95%. I tend to be conservative when it come to authenticating militaria and most guys would say it was 100% right. All USMC Depot made items snaps that I've seen were made by CARR and so marked with pre WW1 patent dates. Sometime in the 1920's CARR merged with another company and became known by another name....I want to say it was UNITED CARR but not sure of this. In any event, finding snaps made by the CARR FASTENER CO and so marked with those early patent dates would be near impossible. Originals will usually be dirty and corroded inside the dome of the female cap which makes it hard to inspect but after 60+ years it shouldn't be clean.

The one verified fake USMC FA pouch I've owned had funky looking snaps and lacked the seam that should run the length of the pouch across the bottom. On the fake they's simply folded the canvas over to save having to make that seam.

So here's my "later" FA pouch. Note the more rounded front flap and lack of the grommets to hold the thin wire hooks. And the brass cartridge belt hooks.

Greg

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#21 craig_pickrall

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 09:36 AM

Greg, you are right on United - Carr. They were still in business when I retired.

#22 Hellwood

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:09 AM

USMC_shovel_cover_front.jpg

USMC_shovel_cover_back.jpg


Hello everybody....

I was just looking for the USMC shovel cover that I have, it's looks to be the same as Frankie.....and mine is not inked USMC too or Phila Depot
I think too that they are post WW1, but I can't affirm....and as I said you about the Marine Brigade in France, in a previous post, they were only provided a very little amount of trench tools and probably issued by army or engineers, if you look pictures from Marines in France, you can see that only a few of them have shovel or other trench tools fixed on the back pack.....
Also , I found a very very few amount of them on the battlefield where the Marines fought in comparison to Army battlefields.....

Best,

Hellwood

#23 Greg Robinson

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:22 AM

Hello everybody....

I was just looking for the USMC shovel cover that I have, it's looks to be the same as Frankie.....and mine is not inked USMC too or Phila Depot
I think too that they are post WW1, but I can't affirm....and as I said you about the Marine Brigade in France, in a previous post, they were only provided a very little amount of trench tools and probably issued by army or engineers, if you look pictures from Marines in France, you can see that only a few of them have shovel or other trench tools fixed on the back pack.....
Also , I found a very very few amount of them on the battlefield where the Marines fought in comparison to Army battlefields.....

Best,

Hellwood


I agree....the one you show in your pics is WW2. It's the one made of heavier weight green canvas with khaki trim that I say _might_ be WW1 but more likely made in the post WW1 years but definitely made prior to WW2. The ones like you show in your pics were typically unmarked.

Greg

#24 New Romantic

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:47 AM

..
Also , I found a very very few amount of them on the battlefield where the Marines fought in comparison to Army battlefields.....

Best,

Hellwood


Hellwood, do you have photos of the shovels you found? I would like to see what these look like. I have one of those "USMC" shovels of unknown vintage. Also photos of shovels found in Army areas would be nice. Perhaps you could do these in a new topic?

Edited by Morals and Decadence, 17 May 2007 - 08:48 AM.


#25 Hellwood

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 10:54 AM

Hello Frankie...

Ok, I'll try to do pictures tomorrow but most of them are battlefield relics....

Have a Good Day,

Hellwood


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