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Unusual USMC Canteen Cover? manufactured or field modified?


USMC-RECON0321

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USMC-RECON0321

Pep,

 

Great thread and thanks for linking it. Sadly two of the collectors who were on top of this information have since passed. I especially liked the one early USMC picture posted that shows the USMC gear being stamped with the same U.S.M.C. and as you pointed out, you can also tell the Marine has a canteen attached with the lower mounted hanger (like these) vs the high mount.

 

Troy

 

post-33000-0-50716700-1453819233.jpg

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USMC-RECON0321

The depot made m1910s starting in 1912 and examples from 1914 exist with depot markings and dated 1914. I have not seen any photos of Marines with usmc mrked on m1910 cnten covers as of yet. You never know what will surface though.attachicon.gifresized_20160125_222352.jpg

 

post-33000-0-86418900-1453844656.jpg post-33000-0-99050800-1453844700.jpg

 

Alec,

 

The picture in your post, what book is that from? You make a good point about these covers being made for the Marines from 1912 - 1914, but only started to date stamp them in 1914 inside the flap. Also, looking at the picture you posted from the book you can see the design of the cover and rear hanger style with sewn over bar and tube configuration is the same as the USMC stamped covers being discussed, so is it possible the first runs of these in 1912-13 started out with the USMC front stamp and no date and in 1914 continued with everything the same except stopping the USMC front stamp and moving it to the dated USMC stamp inside the cover flap only?

 

Thanks again for the help.

 

Troy

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Here is a picture from original copy of 1912 Regs that was published in 1913. Flat top canteen and no marking on canteen cover.

post-7194-0-95646900-1453863279.jpg

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The photo is from my book, Equipping the Corps. The canteen belongs to fellow forum member Robin Bartel. He may have more details about history of his canteen. Yes possible first examples had USMC on them, but need evidence to support that of some sort. Can't just say I found a few like this and therefore they existed. Could be examples from a manufacturer or from Armory system or from depot. I will go through my files and see what I can dig up.

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The photo is from my book, Equipping the Corps. The canteen belongs to fellow forum member Robin Bartel. He may have more details about history of his canteen. Yes possible first examples had USMC on them, but need evidence to support that of some sort. Can't just say I found a few like this and therefore they existed. Could be examples from a manufacturer or from Armory system or from depot. I will go through my files and see what I can dig up.

 

Thanks and yes I understand your statement and I'm open to a conclusion either way. But I think just a lack of documentation found (as of yet anyway) is not enough to discount these as fantasy pieces. I think there is plenty evidence pointing in the direction that these did exist for what ever reason vs evidence that they didn't exist.

 

The picture you posted above, that canteen is very odd looking, almost like a prototype or test cover? Never seen flaps like that and it appears to be hanging off the belt by leather loops and not a rear hanger, or am I seeing it wrong. It sure doesn't look like the same one in the other picture posted.

 

But the markings on the bag do look the same as on the canteen covers in question.

 

Thanks again for the help on this.

 

Troy

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I would not pass on obtaining one for my collection, but would then would hard to prove it existed in that time period.

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USMC-RECON0321

I would not pass on obtaining one for my collection, but would then would hard to prove it existed in that time period.

 

Yes that is the catch 22! I will add some very detailed pictures when it arrives and if you want PM me your email address and I will send you much larger pictures to study. I plan to bring it with me to the SOS this year just to let others have a better in hand inspection of it, so feel free to look me up there (I have 2 tables, but not sure of location yet.)

 

I do like a point that was made earlier by RC about the USMC stamp, if you go to the auction pictures (Link in post #1) and zoom in on the close up of the stamp you can clearly see the USMC appears to have been marked on the cover before the stitching was done, as there is no black on the thread. Meaning, if someone was stamping these in later years to enhance them, the stitching would've been stamped over also.

 

Thanks again

Troy

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The subject of the matter is the canteen is trench art so whats to say also the cover is to? the markings were added in the field or post war?

 

Known fact that WWI painted helmets markings were done post WWI.

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USMC-RECON0321

The subject of the matter is the canteen is trench art so whats to say also the cover is to? the markings were added in the field or post war?

 

Known fact that WWI painted helmets markings were done post WWI.

 

Okay, we just keep going in circles. I'm not sure why you are so determined to prove this canteen cover as fake, when in my opinion it has many things pointing to it being authentic, manufactured and period done this way. All you keep doing is bringing up a bunch of big "WHAT IFs" that are only your guesses vs all the other evidence that's pointed in the other direction.

 

We can all "what if" the crap out of everything, but where is your proof to any of these claims? Gathering the facts, evidence and undeniable coincidences just from this thread and the links alone I think we have one heck of a better case to make that these canteen covers are legit vs the "what if's" trying to say there aren't.

 

You say these were done in the 50's surplus shops to enhance the value? Why, so they could raise the price of a surplus military canteen from 50 cents to a dollar? I mean how much could they have been charging for them in the 1950's and if surplus shops were doing this, why wasn't it done to all canteens in the surplus shop? Surely in the 1950's they had WWI, WWII and even 50's made canteens and as you can see these "USMC" markings have "only" been found on these certain type of 1912 - 1914 canteen covers? (4 shown in this thread alone and one on a poster)? Not to mention, all 4 found have the pre WWI canteens in them.

 

 

Then you post a picture of two fake USMC Stamped mag pouches for an example, but at first glance any knowledgeable collector / buyer would know they are fake and not even close to the look and patina on the covers shown.

 

Now you say, because the canteen has trench art on it, he must have done the art on his cover to? Did he do the other 3 covers also, or did 4 different Marines just happen to draw on their canteen covers the exact same way? How do you explain the stamping to be on the cover before the vertical stitching was applied? In other words the USMC stamp had to be on the cover or material prior to the manufacture adding the stitching. (so done in the "manufacturing process)

 

Again, I don't have 100% proof of these yet, (either way) and I don't have an agenda here, but from many years of collecting, I know how to responsibly evaluate something and weigh the evidence for or against an item to draw a conclusion and in this case, I feel (as do others) that there is definitely plenty of evidence pointing to these being legit.

 

My conclusion is this so far; These covers were made for the Marines from roughly 1912 to 1916. The early runs (Pre 1914) were made with only the "USMC" stamp on the front and no stamps inside the cover flaps. In 1914, the front USMC stamp was no longer used and they began stamping the inside of the cover flap with the 1914 date and Phil Depot.

 

Will we ever find official documents or orders showing these covers? I don't know, but in such a short lived canteen cover and pre WWI, its very possible if the documents did exist they are undiscovered or long gone and lost to time.

As I've said before, just as we collectors think we know all variations, something else is uncovered or discovered that changes everything.

 

Troy

 

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I don't have a dog in this fight, but find the discussion very interesting. Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or do they see at least an "S", in the same font as found on the haversack in Post # 28, on that canteen cover? Maybe it is marked after all, but the quality (or lack there of) of the vintage photo has obscured it?

 

Regards, Paul

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Troy,

 

I have a 1954 published history of RIA in the book they speak of in 1914 shipmentioned of field gear to the Marines in Mexico but no other info.

 

RIA report they made 657,000 canteens from 1913 to 1918.

 

I been to their museum numerous time I'll have a business card of the curator you contact him to see if he has any information for you they kept good records I'll look for the card.

 

The book states they young boys were making field gear for RIA after school in the early 1913-14

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Detailed Rock Island Arsenal production data is available online. It is included in various congressional serial sets if you wish to take the time to look through them.

The canteen in the picture (post 28 & 35) is a trial pattern very similar if not the same as what the review board recommended April 1910.

I would bet the Army gave a few to the Marines for trial also, or at least for that picture set.

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The canteen is hooked to one of those leather equipment tabs( Don't know the official name) so you can use M 1910 style gear with wire hangers on leather belts. the cover appears to have the first style carriage snaps the flap pieces fit over the studs then you rotate top of post to keep flap in place.

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It was not uncommon for the Depot to pull out whatever they had to use in a photo shoot. I have a USMC marked SubTarget model shovel used in the 1912 regs photo, but it was never adopted by the Corps for use.

 

The last USMC Depot made round canteen covers had USMC and date listed, so it is possible the first ones made in the new style for them in 1912 had a USMC marking, but why wouldn't they have a date of manufacture too? Hard to say will keep digging for info.

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The canteen is hooked to one of those leather equipment tabs( Don't know the official name) so you can use M 1910 style gear with wire hangers on leather belts. the cover appears to have the first style carriage snaps the flap pieces fit over the studs then you rotate top of post to keep flap in place.

 

It is called a turnbuckle fastener.

Below is an example of the same type from a 1st production pattern Army M1910.

post-2260-0-28379900-1453949788.jpg

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It was not uncommon for the Depot to pull out whatever they had to use in a photo shoot. I have a USMC marked SubTarget model shovel used in the 1912 regs photo, but it was never adopted by the Corps for use.

 

The last USMC Depot made round canteen covers had USMC and date listed, so it is possible the first ones made in the new style for them in 1912 had a USMC marking, but why wouldn't they have a date of manufacture too? Hard to say will keep digging for info.

 

It is possible these were all dated and the date stamp just dissipated over the years. We are talking over a century.

Consider it is not so easy to find a Army M1910 cover with legible date stamp. They are quite uncommon.

 

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It is possible these were all dated and the date stamp just dissipated over the years. We are talking over a century.

Consider it is not so easy to find a Army M1910 cover with legible date stamp. They are quite uncommon.

 

 

I neglected to note the hard to find date stamp is predominantly on pre 1915 covers.

 

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USMC-RECON0321

Okay, the canteen arrived today and I've taken many detailed pictures in natural sunlight to post for inspection. Having it in hand I can say 100% the following;

 

  1. The USMC stamp us UNDER the manufactured stitching
  2. The hanger and tube are made of Brass
  3. There is no sign of a date or mfg stamp ever being under the cover flaps
  4. This canteen cover was upgraded from eagle snaps to the lift a dots. (you can see where the female side of the snaps were removed from the cover and replaced with the early style male studs).
  5. Early cup and canteen - no dates
  6. Canteen has the early welded ring.
  7. The only weld seam on the body of the canteen is on the bottom.

     

Thanks again for all the input

Troy

 

post-33000-0-99364100-1453995510.jpg

 

post-33000-0-55382600-1453995547.jpg

 

 

 

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Here you can see the removed stitching from the original female side of the eagle snaps.

 

post-33000-0-18587700-1453995763.jpg

 

post-33000-0-59161700-1453995814.jpg post-33000-0-60811900-1453995772.jpg

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Really great trench art on the canteen, Troy! Not knowing a whole lot about canteens, common sense would tell me that having the stitching over the stamp is pretty convincing evidence to the legitimacy of the cover. Great find!

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