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MODEL 1908 SADDLE BLANKET – VERY NICE SPECIMEN:  As described in the 1908 revision of the Ordnance Department manual Horse Equipments and Equipments for Officers and Enlisted Men, the saddle blanket “will be made of pure wool…[the color] to be a mixture of olive-drab shade…[with] an olive-brown border of two stripes…the blanket to be rectangular, 72 by 84 inches…each blanket to have the letters “U.S.” and the bursting shell”.  In spite of the drab colors, the 1908 Saddle Blanket was one of the more distinctive and decorative saddle blankets issued by the army during the span of the horse cavalry.   

At the time these blankets were issued, while the bedding blankets were obtained through contract and issued to the soldiers from the Quartermaster Department, the saddle blankets were obtained through separate contracts and issued by the Ordnance Department. 

This specimen has survived the years in very good condition, measuring 70 ˝” wide and 73” long, very close to the original dimensions and well within any variances in the manufacturing process by the civilian contractors and within the range of shrinkage normally encountered in these blankets as caused by the aging of the wool and repeated washings through the years.  This blanket is clean with bright colors that show no sign of fading.  There are a few points of wear and holes, all of which are shown in the photographs below.  These do not affect the integrity of the weave nor do they detract from the quality of the blanket on display under your saddle.  As directed in the Ordnance manual description, the blanket is decorated in the center with an embroidered “US” 6” high, and the Ordnance Department “Flaming Bomb” which is 5 ˝” high.  This embroidery is fully intact with no sign of wear and is plainly visible from both sides of the blanket. 

As you can imagine, these blankets did not survive in great numbers due to the hard use they experienced in service and as they passed on as surplus to the multitude of post-army agencies, charities and retail stores they were simply used up with little to no regard for their historical value.  These saddle blankets are difficult to find in any condition, and the condition of this specimen with the embroidered insignia still intact makes it a worthy specimen.  This specimen will certainly be a significant addition to display with any of the 20th Century US Army saddles. SOLD

NOTE:  THE LIGHT STREAKS SHOWING ON THE BLANKET IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE RAYS OF SUNLIGHT SHINING ON THE BLANKET AND NOT FADING, BLEACHED AREAS, OR DISCOLORATION IN THE MATERIAL. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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