Object Identification

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Mtkeller
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:42 pm
Last Name: Keller

Hello,

I am the curator at Camp Floyd State Park (http://stateparks.utah.gov/park/camp-fl ... ark-museum) in Fairfield, Utah. We have a military harness and bridal in the collection with no paperwork and associated information. I was wondering if anyone on this site might help in identifying any information on the objects. We believe it is most likely from the 1870’s, but we’re not sure. Here are several photos of the objects below. If you cannot tell from these photos, what part of the harness or bridal would you need a photo of for identification? Thank you so much for your help and please let me know if you have any questions.

Megan Keller
MeganKeller@utah.gov
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Rick Throckmorton
Society Member
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 1:54 pm
Last Name: Throckmorton

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Megan,
The items you have pictured are pieces of Model 1902 draft harness. I identify these from the bridle photo and the photo of the withers piece (the piece with the four "US" rosettes, and the hand loop between them. This piece fit just behind the withers and the strap went under the belly of the horse or mule, and served to keep the reins and other straps organized, separated, and aligned, as they passed forward to the team.) These two pieces are readily identifiable to the 1902 pattern draft equipments. The horse collar and the wooden piece(since I can't see the rest of it, I assume it is a hame) are not identifiable to me. If there is an arsenal or contractor's stamp or inspectors' initials, that would confirm their military origin.

The 1902 equipments were the pattern of equipments in use at the time of World War One, and thousands of set of the equipments were made up to service all the regular, national guard, and reserve units called up or activated for service in the war. One has to remember that at that time, ALL types of units, be they cavalry, infantry, artillery, engineer, medical, signal corps, coast artillery, service of supply, ordnance, commissary, etc., were supported by horse/mule drawn vehicles. I emphasize this just to give you perspective of how many sets of these equipments were made up for the military. In fact, these same equipments were still in use when the US entered into World War Two.

Earlier patterns of draft equipment bridles had a teardrop shape to the blinders, and different styles of "US" rosettes. The black color of the leather is not indicative of the time of use. While cavalry and other leather equipments, by specification, changed colors from black to russet in 1902, for some reason, the draft harness colors stayed black. I don't know why. Unfortunately, the draft animal equipments are the least studied, and documented equipments in our field of interests.

I hope what little I have been able to provide has been of help.

Best regards,
Rick Throckmorton
Mtkeller
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:42 pm
Last Name: Keller

Thank you so much Rick!!
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