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US ARMY SERVICE TROUSERS, MOUNTED, ca. 1908 - IN EXCELLENT LIKE NEW CONDITION – w/ 1908 DATED MAKER & QMC DEPOT TAG – VERY RARE MEXICAN PUNITIVE EXPEDITION UNIFORM ITEM:  One of the rarer pieces of early Twentieth Century US Army uniforming, and commonly associated with the 1916 Mexican Punitive Expedition, this pair of ca. 1908 Mounted Service Trousers with the fully reinforced seat have survived the years in like new condition.  

While included in William Machado’s description of the Pattern 1911 Service Uniform in his informative Uniforms and Equipment of the Last Campaign 1916, these Service Trousers with the reinforced seat, or crotch, as well as the inside surface of the legs, were introduced earlier in the 1902 Uniform Regulations.  At some point the army decided the reinforced seat was no longer necessary and it was deleted from the specifications, leaving only the reinforcing extra layer of material on the inside of the legs.  It is generally believed that the reinforced seat was eliminated in the 1911-1914 time frame, before the 1916 Mexican Expedition.  Since the bulk of the remaining stocks of the reinforced seat trousers that were in inventory were exhausted during expedition, surviving examples of these early pattern mounted trousers are regarded as exceptionally rare - in point of fact, examples of reinforced mounted trousers from the Civil War and Indian War periods are far more common in collections today. 

Providing significant and important evidence as to when these mounted trousers were produced, the complete combination maker and Quartermaster Depot tag is sewn to the underside of the right front pocket liner.  The original label is full form, completely legible, and bears the contract date of September of 1908. 

Manufactured of the same wool as the service coat, this pair of trousers features brown hard rubber buttons on the fly and same buttons on the inside surface of the waist band    for suspenders.  There are two front pockets and a watch pocket over the right hand front pocket, no rear pockets, and a two piece size adjustment belt across the back of the trousers.  

This pair of trousers is literally in like new condition, and were it not for the soldier’s name, “Gus Hoffman” written in ink on the inside of the waist band and on one of the pocket liners, they would appear to be unissued.  The material is in excellent condition with no sign of discoloration, wear, or damage, and most importantly, there is no moth damage, as pristine as the day it left the manufacturer.  The eyelets on the leg gussets are all present and have their original brown lacquer finish intact, and lacing strings are full length and complete with the brass tips.  

Considering the manufacture of these trousers was discontinued before the Punitive Expedition, the survival rate of these early mounted trousers in collections today is fairly low.  This pair is an outstanding specimen, and in light of how rare any surviving examples of this pattern are in today’s market, they are truly a special offering that would never need to be, and I doubt could be, upgraded.  (0430)  $1150  

NOTE:  Photographing wool material presents some interesting challenges in lighting and contrast.  It results in a trade off between trying to maintain the accurate and consistent coloring between photographs and providing sufficient detail of specific features.  Any variations in the coloring you see in the photographs below is due to the limitations of the photography and is not due to fading, bleached areas, or discoloration of the material.



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