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WORLD WAR ONE MODEL 1910 MILLS ENLISTED MEDICAL CORPSMAN’S BELT – RIMMED EAGLE SNAPS - COMPLETE w/ THE RARE CONTENTS AND APPENDAGES – AN EXCELLENT SPECIMEN: A rare offering, this excellent Mills Rimmed Eagle Snap Model 1910 Enlisted Man’s Medical Belt is in excellent condition and is outfitted with the special medical equipment and supplies that were originally carried in the belt by the medical corpsmen in the field as they accompanied the troops.  One of the widest of the Mills belts, the belt was designed to bear the additional weight of a full load of medical supplies, a hand hatchet, and at least one canteen – on occasion the medic would carry a second, adding appreciably to the total weight.  

The belt proper is complete with all the eyelets and closures which still retain the original blackened finish, the eagle snaps are all present, retain their subdued finish and all function properly with no fasteners pulled loose from the woven material.  The belt shows no wear or damage and all of the edges are still crisp.  The belt body is ink stamped “AUG 1918” and both of the blackened belt tips still bear the legible Mills Company patent and logo stampings. 

The equipment and the contents of the 10 pockets are described here – in the same order as they were in the “Manual for the Medical Department, 1916” - beginning with the left front pouch, “Number 1”, and around the belt to the right front pouch, “Number 10”:    

No. 1:  This pocket (and likewise pocket No. 10) is half the depth of pockets No. 2 through 9, and features a divider, creating a smaller pocket on front interior face of the pocket.  The main pocket compartment contains a Field Tourniquet in “like new” condition showing no signs of use.   

No. 2:  This pocket contains one box of Iodine Swabs, produced by the Bauer & Black Company.  One of the most difficult components of this belt to find, this box is in full form with no separations or tears, has a fully legible label and still contains three of the original iodine swabs, wrapped in the original waxed paper wrappers with the printed instructions.   

No. 3:  This pocket contains two Corrosive Sublimated Gauze Bandages, each compressed in a waxed box.  These bandages were used to allow the wound to drain, and retard the onset of infection.  Both packets, produced by Johnson & Johnson, are still sealed, are in full form, and have fully legible labels bearing the May of 1917 contract dates.  One packet is very clean and the other shows some minor surface soiling from having been issued and carried, but it is still sealed and retains its form.    

No.’s 4 through 8:  These five pockets contain the Individual Dressing Packets – two in each pocket.  All ten dressing packets are original World War One issue, each bearing fully legible labels – six produced by Wilford Hall (all dated 1917), two by Bauer & Black (both dated 1917), and two by Seabury & Johnson (both dated 1918).  Some of the packets present in excellent condition, others show some storage or pocket wear with some soiling, but all are in full form, still sealed, and with complete wrappers with no tearing.  These dressing packets were manufactured with white oilcloth wrappers and were intended exclusively for issue with this belt, as opposed to the dressings encased in the brass tins issued to the individual soldiers.  Eliminating the metal tins served to reduce the overall weight of the belt.  As the oil cloth wrappers were more inclined to aging and wear and tear through the years, these packets survive in lower numbers than those in the brass tins, so this full complement of dressings as they present in this belt are a real added value.   

No. 9:  This pocket contains one roll of period correct APC Plain Gauze Bandage, 2 ½” wide and 10 yards long.  The roll is completely covered in the original paper wrapper, presents in excellent condition with both ends sealed, and a fully legible label.   

This pocket also contains the paper of straight pins which were used to secure bandages in place once applied to the wound.  This paper of pins was intended to be carried in the front compartment of Pocket No. 10, however it is a tight fit and to prevent unnecessary wear to the pins or compartment, I’ve placed them in this pocket No. 9.  

No. 10:  This pocket contains the clear glass flask with a nickeled screw top.  The screw top still retains the cork washer and the remnants of the rubber stopper are in the bottle – which dried out through the years and crumbled.  The glass is full form with no chips or cracks.  

Model 1910 Diagnostic Tag Pouch:  Mounted on the right front lower edge of the belt, this Model 1910 Diagnostic Tag Booklet Pouch matches the same excellent condition as the belt.  The snaps retain their original blackened finish and are fully functional with no wear or tearing.  The inside of the pouch flap is ink stamped “SEPT 1918” with the Mills in the Bullet logo.

The pouch contains the original Diagnostic Tag Booklet.  This booklet has never been opened or used, still retaining the khaki colored paper band applied by the printer to keep the pages secured until the booklet was issued.  As the booklet remains sealed, it retains all of the Duplicate Diagnostic Forms - one of which was intended to be left with each wounded soldier to detail his wounds and the treatment he had received to that point.  The pad is in full form, with the only sign of aging being some minor fading to the blue color of the covers.  The front labeling is in excellent condition and fully legible.   These pads are quite rare today and a pad in any condition is hard to find, and this pad is an excellent, unused specimen - a very necessary component to complete this belt.   The pad is accompanied by an excellent unused original pencil with the nickeled metal cap as was issued with these belts.  These pencils are very rare and seldom survive with these belts. 

Model 1910 Hatchet and Hatchet Carrier:  Full form and in very good condition, this Model 1910 Hatchet shows little use.  The hatchet head is stamped “US”, and has not suffered from corrosion nor has it been heavily sharpened.  The woven canvas carrier is ink stamped by the manufacturer, “CANVAS PROD CO.” and “SEPT 1918”.  The exterior and interior of the carrier bears “4748”, written in ink – perhaps the last four numerals of the soldier to whom the hatchet was issued.  The carrier is full form with a fully intact and functional closure strap and buckle.  The canvas shows some sign of soiling and some minor wear caused by the corners of the hatchet head, but the cover is still intact and retains its integrity.  The hatchet handle is full form and length with some minor loss inside the eye of the head, but the handle is still solidly attached to the head with no looseness.  Overall this is a very good specimen.   

Model 1910 Canteen:  This complete Model 1910 Canteen features a very good cover with a fully legible “U.S.”, the maker’s ink stamp under the left flap – “M & H Co.” and the date “FEB 1916(?)”, and the inspector’s stamp under the right flap “E.P.”.  There is a minor stain on the front but the cover is overall clean with no wear spots.  All the seams are fully intact and the lift the dot snaps still retain their original blackened finish, both are complete, function well and show no signs of tearing around the snaps as is often the case.   

The canteen and cup are both full form with no significant dents and no cracks or other defects and the handle on the cup functions properly.  The canteen is maker marked “US 1918 BA CO.” and the cup is marked “US L.F. & C.1918”.  The handle of the cup is stamped with a five digit number which may have been the soldier’s service number.   

Mills Medical Belt Canteen Extension Hanger:  A rare component of these Medical Belts, this Mills Extension Hanger dropped the canteen below the bottom edge of the pockets and allowed the canteen to hang freely without binding against the belt.  In full form and in excellent condition, this extension shows no wear.            

This Model 1910 Enlisted Medical Corpsman’s Belt is in excellent condition, and makes for an impressive addition to any World War One equipment or medical display.  Complete with the majority of the correct and necessary medical equipment and supplies, including several of the rarest and almost impossible to find items, this is a remarkable specimen.  To find such a belt of this quality with the contents intact is becoming increasingly difficult and this specimen is worthy of adding to most collections. This is the quality of belt that often moves quietly from one collection to the next with never seeing the light of day.   (1002)   $2450 



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