PHILADELPHIA DEPOT HORSTMAN AUGUST 31, 1862 CONTRACT CANTEEN

$675.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1052-108

This is an interesting example of a Philadelphia Depot corrugated canteen dating to Fall 1862 or not long after, showing a partial “H.B. & Co. / PHILAD.” stamp on the neck of Horstmann Brothers & Company, who had an August 31, 1862, contract for 50,000 canteens, which they subcontracted to J.H. Rohrman for manufacture. Maker’s markings were ordered by Congress in July 1862 to combat fraud and Horstmann was directed to “put your initials on the canteens” by the Depot. Their later contracts bore different markings and bore only four raised rings. An additional pointer to an early date is the small hole made in the throat by a soldier for use with a patent water filter attachment, which tends to be early war. Lastly, the strap is herringbone twill woven cotton strap supplied by Horstmann on separate contracts Fall 1862 to the depot amounting to more than 100,000 yards of “cotton canteen webbing.”

In keeping with this dating is the oddball cover used, which is characteristic of the Philadelphia Depot. The depot covered the canteens itself and used a wide variety of fabric and colors purchased for the purpose as well as diving into its stocks of uniform cloth as large numbers of these corrugated canteens began to come in in late 1862 and early 1863. Such striped brown fabric has been attributed to the use of upholstery fabric or even army socks.

The strap shows wear, some losses, and several partial tears, but is still in one piece, though should be handled carefully. The stopper is there. The twine is broken, but one end still shows it was tied to the carrying strap. The cover shows stains and dirt. One side is quite good. The other still has better than 90 percent of the fabric but does show some wear through at a few points to the raised rings of the canteen body.

In addition to being a basic part of the soldier’s gear, canteens offer a lot of variety by maker and nuances of design, and have a lot of eye-appeal variations of color, fabric coverings, etc. This is an interesting example, made in plenty of time for use at Gettysburg and other major battles.  [sr] [ph:L]

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