RICHARDS PATENT MESS SET

$325.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 809-93

William Richards stated in his patent application, "the object of this invention is to provide a simple and efficient knife fork and spoon for camp purposes at small cost and which, when not in use, can be so put together as to occupy but little space in a soldier's knapsack so as to inconvenience him as little as possible."


The set consists of two pieces: a combination fork and spoon, and a knife. Each about 7 7/8 inches long and has flanges on the side to enable them to slide into one another and marked "Wm. H. Richards / Patent July 23, 1861 / Boston." This example has a silver gray tone mixed with dark gray spots overall, some light pitting and a spot or two of crusty raised rust that will clean. Good markings on both pieces. Those on the knife are a tad rubbed, likely from that implement’s greater use. A number “5” is also stamped on the fork and spoon section, perhaps a soldier’s rack number.


This was one of the more popular and studier of the combination sets purchased by new soldiers, friends, families and well-wishers to make army life easier. Recruiting services issued a variety of different mess gear. Much of it was pretty flimsy. This would be a great addition to a display of camp and soldier’s personal gear.  [sr]

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