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Does this chain go back to the old U.S. horse army era?


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This chain followed me home and it didn't cost me anything.

I was out visiting my dad on the farm this last 4-5 days and as I was working on repairs to vehicles and buildings and general nozing around the different farm buildings, I came across this 8 foot long chain. It has a 'US' marked connector, I suppose to denote US property. It is marked the same on both sides. Any idea on the vintage and what it was used for?

 

In my opinion, it is too light for hauling out motorized vehicles. I am guessing it is iron but could be wrong.

 

Thanks for your comments!

 

Kim

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A member of this fine site since December 16, 2006....Member # 60

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Kim,

I checked several of the QM catalogs that cover odd ball stuff like this. In the horse gear there isn't much chain used except for very short links. I did not find an exact match to your chain but most of the chain items that resemble this is used with wagons. Something like a tail gate chain would be a close match but it was not an exact match to the one I found in the manual.

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Thanks for looking Craig.

 

I figure that even the pre-motorized Army had a need for chain for different uses. I'm sure its' value is nominal but it will be fun to see what all the uses there were.

Kim

A member of this fine site since December 16, 2006....Member # 60

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It's something to do with a trail chain. When the army went from 'horse' to 'mech', tons upon tons of these were surplused...and farmers snapped them up by the dozen. You can still find them at farm sales and such. I believe, but am not sure, they date from the post civil war era.

 

I think each horse had one or two on either side. Going from memory here so not 100 percent.

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After having a double bypass this past year, it's time to downsize and pass along much of my 'stuff'. I've had my fun, now it is someone elses turn.

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Sorry, Not horse related. Chain traces were not used by the Army as they tend to cause injuries to horses. Both the Artillery and the Ambulance/Express wagon harness used leather traces. I don't think the US is for US govt property. It looks like the stylized US seen on anitque locks made by the US lock company. So this was possibly a chain used to lock something up but I know it isn't Army horse related.

Tom Bowers

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Chain traces were not used by the Army as they tend to cause injuries to horses.

 

I don't claim to know much about driving (I prefer to ride), but my understanding is that chains were used in the military harness to attach the traces to the tree. See the drawings on this site:

 

http://www.lovettartillery.com/US_ARMY_Hor..._Equipment_.htm

 

I can't say whether the chain in question is the same as these, but it looks similar.

 

--Brian P.

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Brian-

 

Not all drawings showing chains show these chains. Only one of them, the drawing labelled "Escort Wagon Team Harness" only the lead horses would have a set of chains as pictured, doubling back to the harness. The back horse has a hook at the end.

 

:think:

 

Sharp pickup!

 

:thumbsup:

 

Luis R.

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We drive horses every day. At least as far back as the civil war, traces were made of leather. I had looked at the diagrams before I commented originally and if you look carefully, the traces of the Ambulance/express wagon harness have chain ends. But there is only about 6" or so of chain, then a swivel and then the rest of the trace is leather. In the civilian world, chain traces are sometimes used for logging, but the entire trace is covered in thick leather because chain simply cuts into horseflesh easily. I saw an amishman once plowing his field with a Belgian draft team. The leather was missing from one of his chain traces on the logging harness he was using and his horse was quite seriously galled on the back leg where the chain was rubbing against him. Some Amish treat their horses like that, most don't. The chain in the original post is described as 8' long and doesn't appear stout enough to be a trace anyway. The logo cast into the chain is a stylized US not similar to the US marking seen around that time, but often seen on padlocks from the US lock company. I think it's a neat chain, just not part of an Army harness.

Tom Bowers

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