A Fantastic New Book on the Swords and Sabers of the US Army

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TL Foster
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:03 pm

I knew it was a long shot, but I was hoping to find out what regiment my weapon was issue to. Serial 258 , with the original type scabbard and the tent pole pin still intact. I got it off ebay some years back, but could not get any details on its provenance from the seller. Likely an officer's private purchase who left the cavalry before the pins were cut off.
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Tom
SUGEBAT SED PERFICEDAMUS (IN THE VULGAR) 5-B-89
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Joseph Sullivan
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:02 pm

Yes, I likewise got mine and while I have not had a chance to read it with care, I can without hesitation say "well done, and what fun!"

Now for a question for Dusan to which I didn't see reference in the book -- the 1913 practice sabers. I have a pretty full set of practice equipments, plastron, mask, left AND right handed gloves, and four wooden blades of which two are installed in grips and two are replacements. Of the two in grips, one is curved the way we normally think of a saber, and the others are all straight, like the Patton. Because I have never seen any reference to curved wooden blades, I assume that mine is warped. Would you agree with that, Dusan, or are you aware of another model of wooden practice saber that is curved?
Joe
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Trooper
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:35 am

Thanks Joe.
I'm afraid I did not enquire into practice swords and sabres as I had entirely enough to do with researching the service versions.
That said I have seen, informally, several different types of practice swords and sabres.
The differences in those I have seen seem mostly concerned with the guards - some having metal, some leather and some basketry - although I have also seen versions with blades that resembled single sticks with guards, rather than the more usual flat wooden blade with dates more frequently seen.
I would be hesitant to ascribe any curve in a wooden blade to warping until I had done a thorough search of the different styles that were available from say 1860 to 1920.
If you do such research it would be a fine subject for a monograph - I'd certainly be interested in a copy... :)
Dušan
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:59 am

Yes, you certainly did have enough wit the service sabers, and did your usual thorough job. I am just uncertain enough about the warping that I, too must reserve judgment. The blade is in a M 1913 grip. However, the curve is awfully regular...

Not sure when I would be able to research it, what with still facing the need to earn my daily bread and no retirement in sight.
Joe
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:50 am

TL Foster wrote:I knew it was a long shot, but I was hoping to find out what regiment my weapon was issue to. Serial 258 , with the original type scabbard and the tent pole pin still intact. I got it off ebay some years back, but could not get any details on its provenance from the seller. Likely an officer's private purchase who left the cavalry before the pins were cut off.
We didn't find any evidence that any were privately sold, although that is not proof that a few weren't. Personally, I have my doubts. I think it more likely that some just didn't get altered as is the case with virtually every other arms modification I can think of, when made to weapons that were already in the field. Think of the M1892 Krag... virtually all of them were altered, but a few still escaped. Actually, there are enough surviving tent-peg scabbards to suggest that a fair number escaped modification. The total absence of period photographs of officers carrying the 1913 on the chain sling — designed for that purpose — suggests that most carried the 1902 saber on such occasions. It is easy to see why they would, it is far less cumbersome.
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:43 am

Hi TL,
I'm sorry I missed your post until now.
I wouldn't change anything Joe has written, but would add that your 1913 dated sabre with such a low serial number is entirely correct in having a tentpole tip on the scabbard. It is likely amongst the earliest made and, although not traceable to a particular person, is a scarce item in it's own right. Congratulations on a good acquisition! :thumbup:
Dušan
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:25 am

Joe, thinking about your post it occurred to me, as it probably has to you, that warpage in a long thin piece of wood would be more likely to happen at a right angle to the flat edge of the stick- just the nature of wood. Not to say that it would be impossible for wood to warp into a saber shape but the forces in play would have to be perfectly balanced- warping follows the path of least resistance. Possible, but, If the arc of your saber matches that of the real thing and it's not bent, warped, or twisted in other dimensions, a carpenter would conclude that you've got the real deal. Im only speculating, not having seen the article, and your uncertainty makes me think it's not an easy call. Just tossing out my 2d worth.

Sandy
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Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:08 am

Indeed so, Sandy.

I am not a carpenter. You would laugh at my skills. But I have handled and worked with a great deal of wood and especially oak (a friend and I took nearly 20 10 ft logs of old growth forest oak to the mill after they were brought down by wind, so I have a couple thousand bdft of it I am gradually converting into furniture, stairs, and wall paneling). I've certainly seen warped timbers that bent width-wise, but not usually to that extent, and as you say, not usually with thin wood.

So, I'll keep my eyes open.
Joe
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