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MODEL 1878 CANTEEN WITH THE EARLY NARROW LEATHER CANTEEN STRAP AND A NICELY MAKER MARKED SPOUT:  An original Indian War period US Army issue Model 1878 Canteen complete with the early pattern, narrow leather shoulder strap, this specimen also features a legibly maker marked spout, evidence that this canteen body was originally manufactured during the Civil War.

Due to the financial restraints on the army during the recession stricken 1870’s, the army was forced to recycle much of the stocks of Civil War equipment which remained in storage, much of it unissued and in virtually like-new condition.  Such was the case with the majority of the canteens issued to the Indian War soldiers, which were refurbished and modified with new hangers and covers.  The maker marked spout on this canteen is a nice added value feature which illustrates the history of the Indian War canteens. 

The canteen is complete with both of the triangular hangers that were attached as part of the modification process the arsenal used to convert the Civil War canteens to the Model 1878 Pattern.  The “US” stencil is clear and legible, although lightly applied, and is of the desirable “large” pattern characters, indicating that this is one of the earlier stenciled covers.  The cover is very clean, solid, and free from any wear points or tears, and the seams are intact.  The body of the canteen holds it shape on the front and the rear surfaces with no dents or other damage, however both sides of the canteen have the characteristic soldier-applied dimple in the center of both sides of the canteen.  The soldiers did this intentionally in order that the canteen would hang flat against their side, rather than bounce around on the originally manufactured rounded surface – an easy fix for what was obviously an irritation to the soldiers.  The original cork stopper and brass chain are intact and full form with no loss to the cork.   

The correct narrow leather strap is in very good condition - full length with no weak points, complete with both brass hooks and leather keepers, and the leather is supple with only minor crazing in scattered spots on the shiny surface.  These narrow canteen slings have all but disappeared from the market and are now quite scarce.   

This is the canteen which was issued to the regular army in the west, with no National Guard or State Militia unit marks, and it is a very solid specimen with the very desirable, and correct, narrow canteen sling.  (1029)  $225 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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