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MODEL 1872 MEAT CAN – EXCELLENT SPECIMEN:  A combination Meat Can and Cup that was part of the unique Model 1872 Equipment Set, with the lid intended to serve as the soldier’s cup in the field.  The Model 1872 Meat Can is probably the rarest of the Indian Wars mess equipment, only having been made for 2-3 years before being replaced by the Model 1874 Meat Can.   

These have always been eagerly sought after as one of the more interesting pieces of early Indian Wars equipment and they have become quite scarce on the current market – these are is the first specimens I’ve had in a long time. 

HISTORICAL NOTE:  Some years ago, more than I care to recall, I was visiting a frontier fort which is now owned by the State of Texas.  As a matter of historical fact, as the army moved out in 1875, civilians moved in and occupied the buildings. This occupation by squatters had the unintended benefit of many of the buildings surviving as a result of the continued maintenance by the "new owners".  Some modifications of the buildings occurred as one would expect, such as the original hewn floor planks being covered in modern linoleum flooring.  When the state reclaimed the fort as a historical site they began to remove all the modern additions to restore them to their original form as when the army was still in occupation. 

When the linoleum was removed from the floor of one of the barracks buildings, a sheathing of tin squares approximately 8" by 5"were found nailed to the floor in an obvious effort to seal the cracks in the floor against rats, snakes, scorpions and all the other critters which occupy West Texas.  Each of the squares featured an embossed "US" in the center, albeit somewhat flattened by hammering and foot traffic. 

The state archeologists opined that the pieces of tin were army issued food cans and at that time, I had yet to see a Model 1872 Meat Can.  It wasn't until some time later that I came to understand that the floor - at least in that one building - had been sheathed with surplus Model 1872 Meat Cans probably when they were replaced with the Model 1874 Meat Cans.  Some time later, the archeologists found hundreds of these same Model 1872 Meat Cans, completely flattened and in advanced stages of corrosion, in the fort's dump site.  Seeing how they were disposed of - either through repurposed as flooring or disposed of in the dump - explains why they are so rare today. 

 

NO. 1  MODEL 1872 MEAT CAN:  This specimen is in excellent condition, complete with the lid – often missing - with much of the original tin plating intact, no corrosion, dents or other damage, all of the seams intact and the bail handle on the lid moves freely.  (0364)  $575

 

NO. 2  MODEL 1872 MEAT CAN:  This specimen is in excellent condition, complete with the lid – often missing - with much of the original tin plating intact, no corrosion, dents or other damage, all of the seams intact and the bail handle on the lid moves freely.  (0807)  $575

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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