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MODEL 1901 US ARMY MESS CUP – A RARE MODEL MADE FOR ONLY FIVE YEARS – EXCELLENT SPECIMEN:  The last of the US Army’s traditional tin plated cups, the Model 1901 Mess Cup was first mentioned in the Report of the Chief of Ordnance, 1901 and was subsequently included in the Ordnance Department Manual No. 1719 "Horse Equipments and Equipments for Officers and Enlisted Men" published in 1905. 

Although similar in size and style to the Model 1874 Mess Cup, the Model 1901 differed significantly in that the body of the cup was drawn from a single piece of soft annealed steel which eliminated the separate, soldered bottom plate that was part of the Model 1874.  Once drawn to shape, the rim of the cup was rolled and the handle was riveted in place, and then the finished cup was tin plated.   

The “US” stamped in the handle of the Model 1901 Mess Cup is the same format of the “US” stamp seen in the more familiar Model 1874 Cups.  Model 1901 Cups stamped only with the “US” such as these examples are believed to have been manufactured in 1901, the first year of manufacture.  Specimens of the same model cup are known that in addition to the “US”, are also stamped “R.I.A” for Rock Island Arsenal and with the year of manufacture – 1902, 1903 and 1904 having been noted, and it is assumed 1905 dated specimens were made as well.   

These are excellent examples of the relatively rare Model 1901 Mess Cup – the US Army’s last tinned cup, produced for a very short period, and replaced by the Model 1906 and Model 1908 aluminum cups. 

I have the following cups, each described below with accompanying photographs.

 

NO. 1  MODEL 1901 US ARMY MESS CUP:  This Model 1901 Mess Cup is in excellent condition, retaining its full form with no significant dents and no misshaping.  The majority of the tin plating is present and there is no significant pitting or corrosion.  The “US” stamp on the handle is fully legible and there are a variety of soldier applied names and initials scratched into the outside surface of the bottom of the cup.  One side of the cup shows a half-moon shaped weld that was executed on the original piece of steel prior to the cup being shaped.  Well done and very solid, this weld serves as evidence of the army’s continued efforts to maximize the production of equipment within very tight financial restraints within an environment where there was apparently very little waste.  Once the initial pattern of the cups had been stamped from the original sheet of steel, any piece of steel remaining that was large enough to warrant welding was assembled and cut for additional cups – such is the case with this cup.  (0224)  $195

 

NO. 2  MODEL 1901 US ARMY MESS CUP:  This Model 1901 Mess Cup is in excellent condition, retaining its full form with no significant dents and no misshaping.  The majority of the tin plating has tarnished, but is still present and there is no significant pitting or corrosion.  The “US” stamp on the handle is fully legible.  (0105)  $180

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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