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