Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Any indication of holes in the blade being filled in by weld material?....The bracket that traps the handle appears the same, only it's lacking the ears (where the extra holes would be)....Interesting variation, Bodes

Just checked and theres no additional holes on the blade at all. The holes for the “ears” were never added.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Looking for 20th Armored Division items

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 85
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 1 year later...
  • 2 months later...

<p>I have been watching and wondering about these "odd" straight handled, 1945 "US" entrenching tools for some time.  I have always leaned to the the "<em><strong>post-war surplus store creation</strong></em>" explanation for them, but proof has been lacking one way or the other.  Well, I spotted an original post card for sale on US eBay the other day that seems to answer the question.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>The card is post marked 1946, and was mailed from what appears to be a wholesale company, to another company in New York.</p>

<p>The advertisement side of the card clearly shows one of the "<em><strong>straight handle US entrenching tools</strong></em>".  The interesting thing is that the illustration of the shovel shows that it is marked <strong>E.M.P. Co. 1945</strong>, and <strong>US</strong>, just like the shovels that we have all been wondering about.</p>

<p>The shovel is described as a "<em><strong>Jiffy Spade</strong></em>", "<em><strong>US Army Style</strong></em>".  They are listed at $4.50 per dozen from the Henry Modell & Company, Inc. of New York.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>The fact that the shovel is exactly the same as the <strong>E.M.P. Co. 1945</strong> marked shovels, and the card is post marked 1946, and they are described as "<strong>US Army Style</strong>", would seem to indicate that they are in fact, NOT, surplus, but are actually new made shovels.  They even gave the shovel a name: "<strong>Jiffy Spade</strong>".  If they were surplus, I think they would have stuck with something like US Issue, or Surplus, or something of the like, not "<strong>US Army Style</strong>".</p>

<p> </p>

<p>For myself, I think this sorts out the issue of whether these shovels are a rare, original US issued version, or were post-war creations for the surplus store market. </p>

<p>I would be very interested to hear what others think about this..........</p>

<p> </p>

<p><img alt="" src="https://i.ibb.co/5Kb3G0X/shovel.jpg" style="width: 1600px; height: 934px;" /></p>

<p> </p>

<p><img alt="flashlight2.jpg" src="https://i.ibb.co/6mTzvpX/flashlight2.jpg" /></p>

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been watching and wondering about these odd, straight handled, 1945, E.M.P. & US marked entrenching tools for some time. I have always leaned toward the the post-war surplus store creation explanation for them, but proof has been lacking one way or the other. Well, I spotted an original post card for sale on US eBay the other day that seems to answer the question.

The post card is post marked 1946, and was mailed from what appears to be a wholesale company, to another company in New York.
The advertisement side of the card clearly shows one of the straight handle, entrenching tools. The interesting thing is that the illustration of the shovel shows that it is marked E.M.P. Co. 1945, and US, just like the shovels that we have all been wondering about.
The shovel is described as a Jiffy Spade, and US Army Style. They are listed at $4.50 per dozen from the Henry Modell & Company, Inc. of New York.

The fact that the shovel is exactly the same as the E.M.P. Co. 1945 marked shovels, and the card is post marked 1946, and they are described as US Army Style, would seem to indicate that they are in fact, NOT, surplus, but are actually new made shovels. They even gave the shovel a name: Jiffy Spade. If they were surplus, I think they would have stuck with something like US Issue, or Surplus, or something of the like.

For myself, I think this sorts out the issue of whether these shovels are a rare, original, US issued version, or are a post-war creation for the surplus store market. My vote is that they are not authentic US issue.
I would be very interested to hear what others think about this..........

 

shovel.jpg

 

 

Shovel-back.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a great find.....at 4.50 a dozen, I will take 4 dozen...years from now collectors will be scratching their heads.....

 

Looks like your post card is the nail in the coffin for this shovel, as far as it being an issue item...I still think the blades were manufactured under contract for the US, just not completed...the end result is the Jiffy Spade

Link to post
Share on other sites

We may want to slow down a bit.....I just searched eBay under "new york surplus".....There are at least two postcards listing hammocks from the same Henry Modell and Co. and sent to the same "Kirst & co. Minneapolis, Minnesota" address....But is dated 1949.....My point is, these postcards may spuriously be modern made and sold off as original....Bodes

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting observation about the eBay listings being described as 1949. If you actually look at each post card in the seller's eBay listings, the back side, with the address, stamp, and cancellation mark, show different cancellation marks and dates. I believe the seller marked all of the "Modell" post cards as 1949 in the item descriptions, but they are all actually cancelled 1946, 1947, and 1949. By the way, this is the seller I purchased the "Shovel Post Card" from. When I inspect the card, I would say, 100% original, including the stamp, and cancellation mark over the stamp. It would seem a very odd post card series to counterfeit in the USA.?????? I will contact the seller again, but I believe they acquired them as a lot. Faking these post cards seems like a very unlikely and fairly unprofitable endeavor for a seller. If they are faked, they went to great lengths to affix original US postage stamps, and fake multiple cancellation mark dates. It appears that these post cards were mailed to the business in the "addressed to" side of the post card, over a number of years. This would make sense if these were mailed out as promotional offers over a period of time. Of course, we will never be able to know for sure, 100%, but I have looked over hundreds of original documents, and these look 100% legitimate. No matter what the date of cancellation is, they still have the advertising graphics and description that matches the shovels in question, perfectly. Coincidence? I guess each collector will have to decide for themselves.

 

There seems to be a complete lack of official documentation from the US government about these shovels. I find that very odd since they would have been produced under official US contract, and in apparently, large numbers, in 1945. With the "war machine" tooled up for the M43 folding shovels, it would seem very odd to all of a sudden make an inferior, straight handled shovel. For me, this makes very little sense. If they were officially produced, there should be ample, official documentation, and evidence of use. When you combine this train of thought, with the discovery of this advertising post card, it would seem that the question of whether they are "official military issue" or not, would be apparent. The basic question of "why" has yet to be adequately answered or explained in my opinion. This is just my opinion, of course. If anyone has found any information to the contrary, I would be great to see it presented.

 

I sent an inquiry to the seller, about where they acquired these cards and this is what they told me:

 

"Hi, Mark,
We got it from a postcard dealer who lives in St Paul Minnesota. As you can see, it is address to that area.
Thank you! We appreciate your business.
David and Judy"
Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, I was unable to open the individual listings on eBay, but noticed the two....Unfortunately, if forgers are willing to copy steel and porcelain signs, with today's modern equipment paper items would be simple....

 

I would also tend to think if these shovels were indeed sold under the name of Jiffy Spades, chances would seem good some form of advertisement would be found in period publications.....I would think old magazines would have listed them, but as far as I'm aware, none have yet turned up...I'll keep an open mind, and see if any of the like shows up.....Bodes

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's safe to say the riddle is solved. Even if someone for some reason reproduces those cards they are still reproductions of an actual card, which I don't think this one is.

Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than in a Yugo.

 

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

why would someone waste their time faking surplus store postcards for a single digit money.

And why would somebody squirrel away an otherwise meaningless postcard all these years?....If one distributor was notified of their availabilty, than safe to say there should have been numerous ones sent out....Why has it taken 75 years for one lone piece of advertisement to turn up?....And lastly, the government is renowned for holding military surplus for a long time....These shovel pieces sold off and made into a salable item within months of the war coming to an end....Seems a little too pat...Just saying...Bodes

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some checking on The "Henry Modell & Company".

 

It seems that the company is still in business, with a number of stores across the US Northeast. Here is what they say about their history on the "about us" page of their website ( https://www.modells.com/about-us.html ) :

 

"Modell's Sporting Goods is America's oldest, family-owned and operated retailer of sporting goods, athletic footwear, active apparel and fan gear. We are committed to providing a convenient and compelling shopping experience for the athlete and fan in all of us.

Founded in 1889 by Morris A. Modell, the first Modell's store was located on Cortlandt Street in lower Manhattan, NYC. Four generations of the Modell family have developed the family business into a chain of over 150 stores throughout the Northeast."

 

Henry Modell, who inherited the business from his father, and who's name the company still carries, passed away in 1984. Here is what the New York Times had to say about him when he passed:

 

"Henry Modell, chairman of Henry Modell & Company, a sporting-goods retail chain, died Tuesday at the Hollywood (Fla.) Memorial Hospital. He was 91 years old and lived in Hollywood.

Mr. Modell was semiretired in recent years, but remained board chairman of the company, a post he had held since 1937. For 17 years before, he was president of the company, which was founded by his father.

In Mr. Modell's lifetime, the company grew from one clothing store, then at West and Cortlandt Streets in Manhattan, to 19 stores in the New York metropolitan area specializing in sporting goods and leisure and sportswear.

Mr. Modell was born on the Lower East Side, the son of Hungarian immigrants who had come to the United States in the late 1880's. He joined his father's company after service in World War I as an infantryman in France. Later, he was active in veterans affairs and became a commander of an American Legion post. He was also chairman of a local draft board during World War II. After the war, he was an adviser to the United States Secretary of War on the disposal of surplus materials."

 

Since the post cards were sent out as special advertising, to businesses they were selling to, It is likely that most of them ended up in the trash, not long after they were received, just like most of us do with the "junk mail" we receive in the mail these days. There would be no reason for most people, or businesses, to keep those cards, hence the lack of them being widely encountered. A few of the cards managed to get saved for all these years to find their way to a post card collector (yard sale, estate sale, etc.). It seems very unlikely that advertising postcards that were mailed out to businesses, in the 1940's, from a lone, small sporting goods store, would have survived into the 21st century, but apparently a few did! To me, this all seems logical, probable, and likely.

The Henry Modell Company was in the surplus and sporting goods business after WW2, and this fits the information on the post cards perfectly. Henry Modell himself, was an adviser to the US Government on the disposal of surplus material after WW2.

 

For myself, collecting is not just about acquiring objects, it is also about the detective work, research, and documenting the story behind them. These shovels have been a mystery. For me the mystery is solved. Every collector will have his own opinion based on the evidence, research, and documentation pertaining to the authenticity and historical use of each item in their collection. As we all know, we can never know any of these facts with 100% certainty, but in this case, I think we can get that percentage up into the "high 90's". That works for me, unless new information to the contrary is uncovered and presented.

For me personally, this has been a fun, and very informative bit of research, and has helped me form an evidence based, academic opinion, about this particular item.

Do I have one of these shovels in my collection? Yes, and right along side of it I will display the post card. For me, the shovel may not be an "official issue" item, but it is a wonderful piece of "shovel history" that has one foot in the war, and one foot in the post-war worlds.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Gotta Go to Mo's" is thier advertising jingle. Sharky, I didn't put 2 & 2 together with the Henry Modell part until you posted the history/obituary of Henry Modell. If I am not mistaken, he is related to Art Modell the founder of the Cleveland Browns somewhere down the line. Personally I think he (Henry Modell) obtained the spare shovel heads from an unfinished/cancelled government contract and created the "Jiffy Spade". Awesome postcard and I too, think the "mystery" is solved.

 

TH1

Collector of WWI US Navy "Donald Duck" Caps and Hat Tallies - Looking for Tallies from the USS Carp & USS Chauncey

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well now I don't feel so bad about using mine in the garden. Maybe I'll put it in the back of my car for emergencies. Great work finding that card and putting 2 and 2 together. Until something else comes along to show otherwise, I'll accept this as a surplus special. The shovel is still and interesting item.

 

Mike

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gif

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some old newspaper researching for New York City, based on Bode's advertisement discovery.

 

I found that Modell's Sporting Goods was running 3/4 and 1/2 page advertisements, in January and February of 1947, with each advertisement titled "WAR SURPLUS" as a bold heading, with a long list of government surplus items.

I spotted the cot, and flashlight that the eBay seller has the postcards for, in the ad's (same illustrations). The advertisements were in the "New York Times, "New York Daily News", and the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle". I could not find any ads in my quick "Google search" for the 1946 time period, and did not spot the shovel in any of the ads. The interesting thing is that the illustrations match the post cards, and the postage cancellation dates, on the post cards, so I'm guessing that with a bit more digging, I'll turn up an ad with the shovel.

It appears that Modell's was mailing out post cards with the wholesale prices to other businesses, of items they were advertising locally as retail in their store, during the same time window that the newspaper ads were running.

 

The latest surplus ad from Modell's that I saw was from 1951.

 

The search for the newspaper advertisement has begun....... stay tuned!

Link to post
Share on other sites

And why would somebody squirrel away an otherwise meaningless postcard all these years?....If one distributor was notified of their availabilty, than safe to say there should have been numerous ones sent out....Why has it taken 75 years for one lone piece of advertisement to turn up?....And lastly, the government is renowned for holding military surplus for a long time....These shovel pieces sold off and made into a salable item within months of the war coming to an end....Seems a little too pat...Just saying...Bodes

Does not seem unlikely to me that someone squirrels them away and now they have passed and their heirs are sorting through there stuff.

 

As for the government not surplusing things for years, they were selling surplus items in 1944 before the war even ended. That's assuming these are a special commando assault shovels that actually got into the governments hands and not a bunch of shovel heads that the E.M.P. Company was stuck with when their contract was canceled in august 1945 along with thousands of others.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a thousand pictures!

"I read that in war bad things happen, Ain't that the ************* truth" -1st Lt Mike Scotti

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.