UP Markings, Canadian, any assistance

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ReversiblePortsmouth
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:04 pm
Location: Australia

I have been examining a fixed tree UP which has come into my possession and I'm trying to identify it's makers.

The near side flap is clearly marked with the Canadian "C". Underneath this is stamped "RFA" and then under this is an acceptance mark. The V-attachments have a makers mark on each side and I can read faintly "Ross and Co Ltd". A year is stamped directly under this and is depicted as a very faint 19xx. I can't find any other marks particualrly in the usual spots. There does not appear any makers marks on the tree at this stage.

The felts are clearly marked "Australia" but I'm unable to identify the maker for these which I think depicts "CGHF" (ie Commonwealth Government Harness Factory in Melbourne) but this is difficult to read. Nevertheless the saddle appears Canadian made and I do know Australia used a lot of Canadian made saddlery and hardware.

Does anyone know who "Ross and Co Ltd" are and where they come from and what "RFA" means?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

cheers

Gerard


ReversiblePortsmouth

"A horse, A horse, My kingdon for a horse," from Richard 111 by W Shakespeare 1592.
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John M
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Gerard,
I have various bits of information re Ross and Co, a British company, somewhere in my files. And I have a UP1856 wood arch saddle dated 1871, the last year of official manufacture of this pattern, made by Ross and Co. I also have stirrups and other items by this firm.

RFA....Royal Field Artillery.

I would agree yours is basically a Canadian made saddle....using felts from Australia and v-attachments / girth protectors from Britain. These ancillary parts may have been later replacements?.
John.
John D Morgan
kenrknopp
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Hey John!! Long time...hope your well. Here is a bit of info I have gathered on Alexander Ross & Co. This is a work in progress....

ROSS, A. & CO. (a.k.a. Ross & Co. LTD) Jerimine (Jermyn St?) St. London, England, (Grange Mills-Bermonday, a suberb of London?). A British firm based in London but also has Canadian ties. The Alexander Ross & Co appears to have started sometime around the late 1700's. Invoices for purchasing guns from the firm Brander & Potts are known to exist back to 1802. Bermondsey in London was known as the " Land of Leather", and by 1792 was producing a third of England's leather.
Ross manufactured leather military equipment under contract to the British army for many decades including the 1856 Universal Pattern saddles and other leather (infantry & cavalry ).
From 1862 - 1865 supplied the Southern Confederacy with copius amounts of acctourements, knapsacks, harness, saddlery, saddlery hardware, British cavalry and infantry equipment (buff carbine Belts, waist belts, cap pouches and more)In August and September 1861, A. Ross & Co. supplied leather, leather equipment and medicines (Quinine) to the Confederate Ordnance Department through purchases made by its agents, Major Caleb Huse and Major Edward Anderson. Some L10,000 of their goods were purchased in August and September for shipments aboard the "Fingal" and invoiced through financiers, S. Isaac, Campbell & Co. Many thousands of sets of accoutrements as well as other equipment were provided to the Confederacy throughout the war. They may have used different variations of their name in dealing with S. Isaac Campbell & Co. as that firm was known for employing two sets of books in their dubious business practices. Ross & Co continued to make equipment for the British army too. At some unclear point in the later 19th century, Ross became “Hepburn Gale and Ross” and employed a stamp “HGR” on much of its equipment. Ross & Co. remained in business manufacturing saddlery stirrups and spurs well into the 20th century. In 1901 the firm became Hepburn,Gale & Ross, and in 1920 became Barrow, Hepburn & Gale, the firm continued into the 1970's.


SOURCE: Check out the book ENTREPOT By C.L. Webster III. Great book! Tells the "as complete as possible" story on British imports into the Confederacy.

Ken R Knopp
http://www.confederatesaddles.com
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John M
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Yes, I am well thanks, Ken. Trust you are too. I havn't checked my files but I think what you have written adds more to my own research.
Thanks for the reference to "ENTROPOT".
John.
John D Morgan
ReversiblePortsmouth
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Thanks John and Ken,

The information supplied is exceptional. It's interesting to note that Ross and Co changed several times. I have a nice example of a Hotchiss bandolier with HGR 1916 stamped on it.

again many thanks for the assistance,

regards

Gerard
ReversiblePortsmouth

"A horse, A horse, My kingdon for a horse," from Richard 111 by W Shakespeare 1592.
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