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MODEL 1904 CANTEEN WITH THE ORIGINAL ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL MODEL 1904 STRAP – EXCELLENT SPECIMEN:  Introduced in the 1905 dated Ordnance Department Manual Horse Equipments and Equipments for Officers and Enlisted Men, and manufactured at the Rock Island Arsenal, this canteen was issued to the early 20TH Century US Army soldiers as the Model 1904 Canteen, and was issued to mounted and foot soldiers alike.   

The “US” brightly stenciled on the front of the cover is very legible.  There is also a faint arsenal stencil at The bottom center of the front cover is stenciled with a fully legible  “R.I.A.  1906”, indicating the cover was produced at the Rock Island Arsenal in 1906.  The seams are all intact and the cover is very solid with no wear or damage, and only the slightest soiling.   

Both of the triangular hangers are intact and the body of the canteen holds it ovoid shape on the front and the rear surface has the distinctive round dimple correct for the Model 1905 Canteen, with no dents from abuse or other damage.  The original cork stopper and brass chain are present, with the cork body retaining its full form.      

This canteen is suspended from a Model 1904 Web Canteen Strap which was introduced in the same 1905 dated Ordnance Department manual.  This “Y” shaped folded webbing strap was the last canteen strap for the last of the ovoid canteens issued to the U.S. Army soldiers.  Issued to all soldiers, mounted and dismounted, the snap hook at the top of the strap was designed to attach to one of the rear grommets on the lower edge of the pocketed cartridge belts, and it was large enough to be snapped to one of the equipment rings on the McClellan Saddles.  This canteen strap is in “like new” unissued condition, showing no evidence of having been issued or used.  The web material is clean and bright, the arsenal ink stamp – “R.I.A. 1905” is fully legible, and the brass fittings still retain their arsenal applied darkened finish.  Years ago these straps used to be available at collector’s shows in the arsenal packaged bundles of ten or twenty, still wrapped with the original twine – one of those accoutrements we thought would last forever.  They have gradually disappeared from the market, and are now, like everything else, becoming less and less common in this condition.     

This is an excellent specimen of the Model 1904 Canteen with the appropriate matching strap which would be almost impossible to upgrade, and will make a nice addition to display on your Model 1904 McClellan Saddle or on one of the early 20th Century Mills Cartridge Belts.  (0120)  $195   



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