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Thread: HELP! Civil war collectible or later civilian copy?

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  1. #21
    Senior Member lawrence_n's Avatar
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    My apologies, I misunderstood. My friend, in the original post I noted that there is no way the strap is or was originally mated to the canteen. Not only the plating, be it chrome or nickel, but even the construction and style. I now regret not removing the strap since it seems to have become a distraction. If I may clarify, the strap is obviously a much later addition, probaby used to replace the original one which no doubt wore out. I knew it post dated the canteen as soon as I saw it. The strap and it's date or origin is of absolutely no consequence. My interest is solely in the dating the canteen.


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  4. #22
    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    If it is of any help in your deliberations... here is the web site of a company that makes reenacting equipment... your canteen looks a great deal like some of these... just aged... and that is the ticket... how old is it. How is it sewn... are there any inspection marks? Toronto is not very far from the US so it is entirely possible that both originals and reenactor equipment's could have come across the border. After all... the northern states just across your border fielded large quantities of soldiers in the Us civil War... so soldier souvenirs and bring home's are not hard to find .

    https://www.jarnaginco.com/catframe.html

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  6. #23
    Senior Member lawrence_n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallyG. View Post
    If it is of any help in your deliberations... here is the web site of a company that makes reenacting equipment... your canteen looks a great deal like some of these... just aged... and that is the ticket... how old is it. How is it sewn... are there any inspection marks? Toronto is not very far from the US so it is entirely possible that both originals and reenactor equipment's could have come across the border. After all... the northern states just across your border fielded large quantities of soldiers in the Us civil War... so soldier souvenirs and bring home's are not hard to find .

    https://www.jarnaginco.com/catframe.html
    Anything is possible. What kind of leads me away from the "re-enactor" idea is the patina. This thing is OLD. There are no marks or stamps of any kind, but the construction and the material just scream age. Was this style of canteen still produced after the war for the civilian market as well, perhaps for the military? How long was this style of canteen produced? When did re-enacting become of interest? Just for interests sake, I filled with water to see if it had kept its integrity. It didn't leak.

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    Contributing Member #1oilman's Avatar
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    Canadaicon fielded somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 soldiers during the American civil war to both sides , years ago it was quite common to see civil war relics at local auctions in southern Ontario, at one time I owned a Spencer Carbine that had the owners name carved in the stock "John Young" on the other side the carving read "Surrender of Lee" I traced the gun by serial number to the New York Volunteers, the owner to the same unit, after further research I learned that the units last engagement was at the battle of Appomattox.The gun came out of Kitchener Ontario As well I have seen numerous Union Army Kepis as well as several Confederate swords so its no stretch to find Civil War relics here in Canada . I own martially market 1860 Colt army, Starr and Whitney revolvers all from local Estate sales. Sure the strap is incorrect, that's obvious, you see lots of items with later improvised additions to me the look of the covering and soldered joint certainly give credence to the fact that the canteen itself has age, is it US military that's for the experts

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  9. #25
    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    Try contacting this company and see if they can identify your canteen.

    Shiloh Civil War RelicsCatalog

    It is my understanding that CW reenacting took off around the 100 year anniversary in the early 60's.

  10. #26
    Senior Member lawrence_n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by #1oilman View Post
    Canadaicon fielded somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 soldiers during the American civil war to both sides , years ago it was quite common to see civil war relics at local auctions in southern Ontario, at one time I owned a Spencer Carbine that had the owners name carved in the stock "John Young" on the other side the carving read "Surrender of Lee" I traced the gun by serial number to the New York Volunteers, the owner to the same unit, after further research I learned that the units last engagement was at the battle of Appomattox.The gun came out of Kitchener Ontario As well I have seen numerous Union Army Kepis as well as several Confederate swords so its no stretch to find Civil War relics here in Canada . I own martially market 1860 Colt army, Starr and Whitney revolvers all from local Estate sales. Sure the strap is incorrect, that's obvious, you see lots of items with later improvised additions to me the look of the covering and soldered joint certainly give credence to the fact that the canteen itself has age, is it US military that's for the experts
    Now that is some very interesting information. Thank you. I did know that some Canadians were involved in the war between the states, but I hadn't known the extent. It's very possible that I overlooked civil war militaria at the gun shows merely from a lack of interest. I'll be more on the lookout this weekend at the Jerseryville show. And to Wally G, thank you for the link. I've contracted them with some pics so we'll see what they have to say.

  11. #27
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawrence_n View Post
    I've contracted them with some pics so we'll see what they have to say.
    Could you let us know either way, if it is or isn't Civil War, please?

  12. #28
    Senior Member lawrence_n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying10uk View Post
    Could you let us know either way, if it is or isn't Civil War, please?
    Certainly! Given all the assistance you all have provided, I owe you at least that.

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  14. #29
    Senior Member lawrence_n's Avatar
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    Update: I took it to a local gun show, not one of the best, but I knew a very knowledgeable individual would be there. He was very impressed with the items I'd acquired but specifically regarding the canteen, he too agreed that it is period correct. The style, the patina, and the construction are all indicative of civil war era, but, like the rest of us, without a makers mark, unit mark, or an inscription of any kind, he too couldn't positively state that it is civil war. I've yet to hear back from Shiloh Civil War relics.

  15. #30
    Really Senior Member RT Ellis's Avatar
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    There are a number of possibilities for the origin and vintage of the canteen. One key detail of your canteen is the sheet steel tin-plated spout. Authors and collectors have created much discussion of the standard pattern sheet steel tin-plated spout canteens supposedly contracted by the Cincinnati Quartermaster Depot during the American Civil War. I'm not so sure that this spout construction is necessarily exclusive to Cincinnati Depot contract(s) but suffice it to say that a relativity small percentage of the canteens manufactured during the Civil War had sheet steel tin-plated spouts. Most of the canteens manufactured to the pattern canteens in the depots had pewter spouts. Speaking of the pattern canteens they were consistent in shape in that both sides were uniformly convex and your example appears to be originally constructed with flattened sides not consistent with the standard pattern Civil War contract canteen.

    This brings up the possibility of manufacture on a state contract. In the first year of the war several of the states provided their three-month volunteers with canteens and other accouterments locally manufactured. Canteens of unknown origin similar to the standard federal pattern have been attributed to state contracts. The early issue of the canteens, and relatively small number manufactured, and survival rate of these canteens suggest very few examples exist and without provenance remain unidentified.

    In the course of research I have noted that at least two companies reported in correspondence intended to solicit contracts to the Ordnance Department in 1898 that they were manufacturing canteens to military pattern. There is no description or images of these canteens so I can only suggest that your canteen was possibly manufactured for commercial sales in the late 19th Century. At least one of the contractors that manufactured canteens during the War with Spain 1898, manufactured canteens with sheet steel tin-plated spouts. These canteens were assembled with the standard triangular wire loops and double covered with wool petersham and duck covers so are not consistent with your canteen, but does demonstrate that sheet steel tin-plated spouts were still assembled to canteens in 1898.

    I occasionally see similar canteens attributed to foreign military service that may also be the source of the canteen, but I don't recall seeing an example with the three strap loops assembled to the canteen and some of the examples shown were porcelain-plated so are not consistent with your canteen. All this suggests a number of possibilities, but to state without equivocation by whom, where and when the canteen was manufactured very difficult to determine.

    An image of a canteen similar to yours is illustrated in "Civil War Canteens" Silvia and O'Donnell, 1983/1990, p. 135 with the comment, "Tin oblate spheroid canteen (approx 7 inch diameter) with a tin spout, brown woolen cover and a standard U.S. sling. We have seen quite a few similar specimens, often with Federal provenance, although these have flat faces and are too small to be considered variants of the Model 1858. We suspect these were commercially available during the war and possibly purchased by several state militias."

    I rather doubt that you will find anyone, lest of all on this forum that can provide you the definitive answer you seek.

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