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Spanish-American War Knapsack


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#1 New Romantic

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 04:29 PM

I'm trying to decide if I should buy this knapsack identified as a "Clothing Bag" made by the Watervliet Arsenal. Anybody know anything about this? What kind of shoulder straps would this have used?

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#2 New Romantic

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 04:43 PM

Okay, I think I may have found the answers to my questions on eBay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

Qouted from the auction-
US ARMY CLOTHING BAG, PATTERN 1874
This pattern was introduced in 1878 (Type 3) made of tan cotton duck, with web binding throughout and a tinned button rather than the previous eagle button to close the inner rectangular meat can pocket. Shoulder strap made of drab webbing, fastens to the bag by means of two brass wire buckles attached through leather billets and adjusted to length by means of a Chambers buckle. Inside flap clearly marked, "WATERVLIET ARSENAL". Originally intended for use and wear on the 1874 brace system, a shoulder strap was made available in 1875 as new recruits had no need of the Palmer brace and a knapsack was not available. The clothing bag carried the soldiers' belongings and was worn slung over the shoulder, like the haversack. The cover is marked with a large, "US", and the soldier has applied his initials of ownership twice. A stain scattered along the top of the flap, otherwise, this clothing bag in excellent condition, as is shoulder sling. Bag measures 9 1/2" wide, 12" deep. Pocket 6 3/4" wide, 5 1/4" deep and expands bellows fashion, 1 1/2". The pocket also meant to carry an extra carton of .50-70 cal. ammunition.

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#3 US CANTEEN GURU

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:05 PM

The seller has partially identified this item correctly but the correct nomenclature is haversack.

In 1874-75 the Infantry equipment board met for the purpose to review the results of the field trials of the Palmer Brace System that had been sent for trial in 1873. The 1874-75 Board recommended some modifications to the Palmer (what we would call load bearing equipment) and recommended further field trials.

One of the members of the 1874-75 IEB was Major Alexander Chambers, who had a bent for invention. Chambers had invented a toungless buckle that was intended for use with the web straps that the Board recommended for adoption as part of woven materials canteen strap, haversack and blanket bag. These were put into production at Watervliet Arsenal and Rock Island Arsenal in 1876.

In 1878 the Infantry Equipment Board reconvened to review the reports of trials of the Palmer System and the previously recommended woven material equipment. The Palmer System was universally disliked by soldiers, especially on Western campaigns of the period. The web strap with Chambers buckle used on the canteen, haversack and blanket bag was replaced with adjustable and detachable leather straps. These were aproved in March 1878 and production of the leather straps and canteens, haversacks and blanket bag provided with D-rings compatible with the hooks on the leather straps commenced immediatly.

All the the equipment recommended for adoption has become known as "model" or "pattern" 1874 because that is the year the Board met. Manufacture of most of the equipment recommendated for adoption in 1875 started in the spring of 1876. So "1874" is a poor choice to indicate the year these items were adopted or manufactured.

Your haversack was probably manufactured in 1876-78. However Watervliet and RIA continued to manufacture this item for issue to the milita (National Guard) into the 1880s. Watervliet Arsenal was converted to a gun factory in 1891 and manufactured no more of this type equipment after 1890.

Edited by US CANTEEN GURU, 15 May 2007 - 10:13 PM.


#4 New Romantic

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 04:03 AM

The seller has partially identified this item correctly but the correct nomenclature is haversack.

In 1874-75 the Infantry equipment board met for the purpose to review the results of the field trials of the Palmer Brace System that had been sent for trial in 1873. The 1874-75 Board recommended some modifications to the Palmer (what we would call load bearing equipment) and recommended further field trials.

One of the members of the 1874-75 IEB was Major Alexander Chambers, who had a bent for invention. Chambers had invented a toungless buckle that was intended for use with the web straps that the Board recommended for adoption as part of woven materials canteen strap, haversack and blanket bag. These were put into production at Watervliet Arsenal and Rock Island Arsenal in 1876.

In 1878 the Infantry Equipment Board reconvened to review the reports of trials of the Palmer System and the previously recommended woven material equipment. The Palmer System was universally disliked by soldiers, especially on Western campaigns of the period. The web strap with Chambers buckle used on the canteen, haversack and blanket bag was replaced with adjustable and detachable leather straps. These were aproved in March 1878 and production of the leather straps and canteens, haversacks and blanket bag provided with D-rings compatible with the hooks on the leather straps commenced immediatly.

All the the equipment recommended for adoption has become known as "model" or "pattern" 1874 because that is the year the Board met. Manufacture of most of the equipment recommendated for adoption in 1875 started in the spring of 1876. So "1874" is a poor choice to indicate the year these items were adopted or manufactured.

Your haversack was probably manufactured in 1876-78. However Watervliet and RIA continued to manufacture this item for issue to the milita (National Guard) into the 1880s. Watervliet Arsenal was converted to a gun factory in 1891 and manufactured no more of this type equipment after 1890.


Great I knew you would add to this! If Webcat was here we could have got another nice lecture on the subject. The same dealer that has the haversack also has the Palmer brace system so I may get both items.


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