POCKET PISTOL FLASK

$395.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1184-64

This elegant pistol flask was likely made by the American Hard Rubber Company in the 1850s and is marked in fine letters near the neck, “Goodyear’s Patent May 6, 185[1.]” The final digit being just a bit light. This and some similar hard-rubber flasks by that company, and some other makers, are illustrated by Woshner (India-Rubber and Gutta Percha in the Civil War Era (1999) on pages 189-190.) This has some slight verdigris on the brass, but the body has nice color and is intact, with no breaks or cracks. Woshner remarks that when found, they are often cracked from hard use in the field.

Their light weight and waterproof nature would have recommended these powder flasks, but their thin, copper body cousins could not have been much heavier and it was likely the novelty of the idea and the chance to be ahead of the wave that made many a sale. Much as in 1967 “plastics” was confidentially shared as the magic key to the future in “The Graduate,” India-rubber, gutta-percha, and various thermoplastics were the wave of the future in the 1840s and 1850s, and put to use in clothing, buttons, walking sticks, combs, inkwells, match safes, pipes, etc., etc. This would look great displayed with a period revolver, but would also be an important piece in a collection illustrating the wide variety of uses to which imaginative entrepreneurs put the new material, and is nice bit of popular culture of the period.  [sr] [ph:L]

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