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WWI US E-Tools...Painted or Not?


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Anyone out there w/ documentation on when US M1910 e-tools began to be painted or used during WWI if ever by the AEF? I've only seen two ever that I know for a fact were used by the AEF, these came out of doughboy groupings that for some odd reason the guy kept or stole his shovel. Both of these were unpainted. Unfortunately AEF B&W photos are not the answer to this one. Thanks, Will

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Anyone out there w/ documentation on when US M1910 e-tools began to be painted or used during WWI if ever by the AEF? I've only seen two ever that I know for a fact were used by the AEF, these came out of doughboy groupings that for some odd reason the guy kept or stole his shovel. Both of these were unpainted. Unfortunately AEF B&W photos are not the answer to this one. Thanks, Will

 

There used to be a long time collector by the name of Carter Rila who posted on gun and military forums and whose opinion was highly respected by all who knew him. And he disputed the theory that ANY of the M1910 e tools were originally unpainted from the factory. With all due respect to Mr Rila, wherever he is now, I think he was wrong about this or maybe I just misunderstood what he said. I've seen several of those shovels that were obviously never painted and some appear to have had the metal parts blued. I can't put this on a timeline other than to say it was pre WW2. But by the start of WW2 they were all painted as were the M1953/M1951 folding e tools.

 

A couple pics of an early e tool shovel in my collection. Looks essentially unused and not a trace of paint.

 

Greg

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Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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The way I remember what Carter said about this is a little different than what you recalled. As I remember it he said that the painted tools caused blisters when used. Because of this the M1910 e-tool, pick, etc as well as tools in the pioneer kits were un-painted. Tools that did not get used often and were exposed to the weather were painted to protect them. Tools mounted on vehicles is an example.

 

In the post war period where you had a scaled down peace time army and they were concerned with spit and polish they started painting tools to make them look good. This carried over into WW2 with e-tools and vehicle mounted tools but tools in pioneer kits were still un-painted because they were "working tools".

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The way I remember what Carter said about this is a little different than what you recalled. As I remember it he said that the painted tools caused blisters when used. Because of this the M1910 e-tool, pick, etc as well as tools in the pioneer kits were un-painted. Tools that did not get used often and were exposed to the weather were painted to protect them. Tools mounted on vehicles is an example.

 

In the post war period where you had a scaled down peace time army and they were concerned with spit and polish they started painting tools to make them look good. This carried over into WW2 with e-tools and vehicle mounted tools but tools in pioneer kits were still un-painted because they were "working tools".

 

Craig

 

OK....I may have misunderstood him. And maybe the posting I saw where he addressed this issue was a bit ambiguous. At the time I got the impression he was having health problems and it made him a bit impatient at times. No doubt he wasn't feeling the best.

Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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The 1910 manual on the infantry equipment states that all the entrenching tools were to be painted. I agree however that I have seen some that appear to have never been painted.

 

OK...it's coming back to me now. Mr Rila used that manual as a reference when he told me there was no such thing as an unpainted M1910 shovel.

 

Greg

Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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What an awesome shovel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

LT

 

If you're referring to my shovel it was from the last Atlanta militaria show I went to before it moved. I thought it was an outstanding shovel and 1918 cover for fifty bucks.

 

Greg

Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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I checked my WWI E-tools. The first pattern( not reniforced) is very much unpainted. The next two(modified from unreinforced to reinforced and the first pattern reinforced are painted. Looks like they were painted from the factory. The last two have been repainted. So you could say from what I have shows maybe the very first came out unpainted.

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The two in my collection are both different.

One has remnants of a mustard green paint, that appears to be very old, and period.

The other appears to have never been painted.

I will try to post some pics in the next little while.

Cheers

Curator/Owner Ghost Squadron Military Museum,

Curator, South Alberta Light Horse Regimental Museum

Collector of;
U.S. Infantry, uniforms, and equipment, 1860 to 1950, Primarily the 41st and 88th Infantry Divisions of WW1 and WW2, United States Army Air Force, Anything B-17 Flying Fortress related, National Guard of Pennsylvania, Royal Canadian Air Force, 4th Canadian Armored division. Springfield Armory firearms, U.S. military firearms in general.



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I can remember very well that old Webcat's topic about painted or not painted handles and I confirm he said that as per specs the wood should be painted. Now seeing again the unpainted Greg's tool the idea it could be a replacement handle comes to my mind.

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