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dsnow

Army Shoes Early 1900's

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Hi,

I have some antique US Army shoes that have never been worn (deadstock). I have not been able to find an exact match to identify them, but I have a pretty good idea of what and when they are from.

But, I would like some reassurance from some one with more experience than me.

I found them in a (very old) general store in the North East. That store had service members passing thru regularly about a decade after the Spanish-American War.

Disclosure: I am an antiques dealer. I’m not asking for a valuation (but, I wouldn’t turn my back on an opinion.)

Thank you for you time. Sorry for the tacky watermarks.

 

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These seem to be the M1904 marching shoe, but the US Army produced another model in the late 1930s that are almost identical. I also have a pair that look identical to yours that have 8 eyelets that were made by the British in 1944 for use by the US Army.

 

Hope this helps.


Always buying USMC named uniforms and unit marked items.




"Life is hard, it's harder if you're stupid"

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Are there any markings inside the shoes on the bottom? They should have a manufacturer name and possibly a model number and/or date.


Always buying USMC named uniforms and unit marked items.




"Life is hard, it's harder if you're stupid"

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No marking on inside bottom.

 

I'm not sure with military history, but with fashion history at around 1910 there was a change in how makers tanned shoe leather. When the shoes made with the old tanning methods got wet they'd become toxic to the wearer. I would assume militaries' spec (is that how you say that?) also made this change. Do you have a name of the 1944 version so I can compare it to the m1904 shoe?

 

Also, I can't find any photos of the m1904 shoe. I mean, I've found photos of people saying they have the m1904, but lacking proof or authority to verify. Even on this forum (which I have throughly enjoyed), I've read there are no photos of the m1904. Which is part of the reason I'm stuck and my curiosity has been piqued.

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Have you read through WWI Nerd's treatise on WWI-era service shoes? You might find your answer there:

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/39225-us-army-field-shoes-1902-to-1917


Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

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I consulted my shoe expert and he is confident these are civilian knock offs. Case in point being that he has never seen or heard of the US Army Shoe logo on the bottom of the shoes you show in your picture. He also said they would be marked inside by the size with a manufacturer name.

 

I am inclined to agree with him as he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to anything military, especially the early stuff.

 

Any input on my reply is welcome.


Always buying USMC named uniforms and unit marked items.




"Life is hard, it's harder if you're stupid"

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dsnow, those appear to be a commercially made copy of the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe. That pattern of shoe was adopted by the Army in 1912, but it did not see issue army-wide until 1914. It was not uncommon for commissioned Army officers to purchase non-regulation footwear since they were responsible for procuring all of their personal clothing and equipment, with the exception of a sidearm and ammunition!

 

When it was adopted, the 1912 Russet Shoe was slated for triple duty, as it replaced the 1904 Garrison Shoe, the 1907 Marching Shoe and the 1904 Black Dress Shoe. When issued, two pairs of the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe were issued to each enlisted man - one pair for field duty, and the other for garrison duty and for wear with the blue dress uniform.

 

With minor changes made along the way, the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe saw service through to the end of WW I. It was replaced by a different pattern, and more robust, russet leather service shoe in 1919. However, the russet leather shoe, likely continued to be worn, after 1919, until the Army's existing inventory of that model shoe was exhausted.

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dsnow, those appear to be a commercially made copy of the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe. That pattern of shoe was adopted by the Army in 1912, but it did not see issue army-wide until 1914. It was not uncommon for commissioned Army officers to purchase non-regulation footwear since they were responsible for procuring all of their personal clothing and equipment, with the exception of a sidearm and ammunition!

 

When it was adopted, the 1912 Russet Shoe was slated for triple duty, as it replaced the 1904 Garrison Shoe, the 1907 Marching Shoe and the 1904 Black Dress Shoe. When issued, two pairs of the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe were issued to each enlisted man - one pair for field duty, and the other for garrison duty and for wear with the blue dress uniform.

 

With minor changes made along the way, the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe saw service through to the end of WW I. It was replaced by a different pattern, and more robust, russet leather service shoe in 1919. However, the russet leather shoe, likely continued to be worn, after 1919, until the Army's existing inventory of that model shoe was exhausted.

 

I've ready your shoe post several times. It is VERY informative in general thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I used it as a starting point for these shoes.

 

I didn't think it would be a 1912 Russet Shoes because it was missing a seam on the back inside heel. I've attached an image with the missing seam highlighted. The seam may be a detail that is not important since the maker may have just removed it to save cost.

 

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