Author Topic: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates  (Read 21871 times)

Offline G.W. Strong

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late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« on: January 12, 2012, 02:17:27 PM »
Last week I built a replica hardtack box to store my stuff in. I was thinking I might like to make some other military boxes as well. Ammo boxes and crates seem like a logical choice. I would love to see photos of original ammo boxes and crates. I am interested in both the wooden crates and the cardboard inner boxes. If you have photos of other military boxes from the period that once held food or other things I would be interested as well.

Thanks for the help.
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
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1961MJS

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 02:52:57 PM »
Hi

This is a good place to start, and YOU don't have to buy it since it's free online now.   ;D

http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924031187887

Later

Mike
Wichita KS

Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 04:03:26 PM »
That was great. I also have Ordinance Memoranda 21 from 1878 which specifies the dimensions and colors of the munitions crates though it says nothing about the markings on them.
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
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Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 04:14:15 PM »
I have also thoroughly mined the McPheeters Antique Militaria sight for things like this. http://www.mcpheetersantiquemilitaria.com/10_field_equip/10_item_025.htm

I am looking for more originals and period photos showing them as well.
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
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Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 04:48:47 PM »
Here is a pic of the bread box I mentioned above and one of my tents from this afternoon. We are getting snow right now. I figure if the box sits out this winter it may gain a bit of honest age and look less like it was just made in my basement. I had to make stencils for all the lettering but it was a fun project.
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
Grand Army of the Frontier #774, (Bvt.) Colonel commanding the Department of the Missouri.
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Good Guy's Posse & Bristol Plains Pistoleros
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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:45:49 PM »

Offline Bow View Haymaker

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 05:54:34 PM »
There areplans for a couple original foot lockers on the GAF site as well.
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Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 08:54:50 AM »
I saw those and downloaded them.

Does anyone have any period photos with military crates in them?
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 09:19:55 AM »


Ok hardtack boxes, but lots of them. ;)

Go to:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/cwphome.html

Civil War Pictures, mostly Brady's but very high quality (Go get a cup of coffee while they down-load.)  It may taking some searching but a lot of things wouldn't have changed much after the Civil War.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 09:24:08 AM »
That is an awesome pic. I hope not to make that many boxes...

How much do we think hardtack crates would have changed over the couple of decades following the war? I copied a Civil war box and omitted the 1861 date of the original.

I'll get a cup of joe and download some pics.
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 09:33:46 AM »
That is an awesome pic. I hope not to make that many boxes...

How much do we think hardtack crates would have changed over the couple of decades following the war? I copied a Civil war box and omitted the 1861 date of the original.

I'll get a cup of joe and download some pics.

Since there were still issuing hardtack made during the Civil War into at least the 1880's, not much and the 1861 date might not be far off.

I don't know if the newer ones had the split willow on them:







The nails all seem to be the cheaper wire nails also.

Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:45:49 PM »

1961MJS

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 09:38:44 AM »
Here is a pic of the bread box I mentioned above and one of my tents from this afternoon. We are getting snow right now. I figure if the box sits out this winter it may gain a bit of honest age and look less like it was just made in my basement. I had to make stencils for all the lettering but it was a fun project.

Hi Hopalong

You gotta take into account that those boxes were NEW at some point in the sport's history.  I wouldn't get too carried away with weathering.  O.K., I didn't take the 1861 to 1880 hardtack into consideration, BUT the boxes probably weren't outside were they? 

Don't reenact 1 year old hardtack, Yucky, trust me on that.  We left some for a month in a boy scout tin popcorn container and even stale is hard to eat.  Weevily would have to be worse.

Just a thought.

Mike
Wichita KS

Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2012, 09:50:35 AM »
I prefer a somewhat weathered look. I store all of my benches and other wooden items for my other reenacting outside next to my house. Most of them have been outside fo ryears. I think this will only be out a few months.
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1961MJS

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 09:57:25 AM »
I prefer a somewhat weathered look. I store all of my benches and other wooden items for my other reenacting outside next to my house. Most of them have been outside fo ryears. I think this will only be out a few months.

Hi

I would think that "somewhat weathered" would be more historically correct.  (NOTE use of the word think).  I think most quartermaster types would prefer to store food items indoors over the long term.  I also think that after storage, the boxes would be outside more often. 

Just my thinkin' again.  I don't have access to a nearby cowboy museum right now.  I did go to one in Independence (I think) Missouri a couple of years ago.

Mike
Wichita KS

Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 10:37:53 AM »
I think boxes that look a bit weathered would be less glaring. Especially if they are civil war style.
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
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1961MJS

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 02:53:00 PM »
I think boxes that look a bit weathered would be less glaring. Especially if they are civil war style.

Hi

I think I FINALLY worked out what I was trying to say.   ::)

Remember that the hardtack boxes you see in an antique store are 100 +years old, which they weren't when they were used.  Some people doing Civil War, Indian war etc, tend to over due the whole old thing.  I'm thinking primarily of the finish on some firearms.  I.E. an 1873 Single Action Army was NEW IN BOX in 1874... 

I'll give up now   ;D

Offline St. George

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2012, 03:37:08 PM »
Once issued out of the Quartermaster's warehouses, foodstuffs and anything 'boxed' was shipped via covered transport or rail - usually to a siding.

If covered after that, it was covered by tarps or perhaps tents, and issued to requesting unit supply officers.

If that's followed - then outdoor storage under cover will weather the wood and new stencilling enough to look 'right' in a re-enactment setting, since rain will likely hit it, as will sunshine - dulling the formerly bright surfaces.

Ammunition boxes were generally painted - hardtack boxes weren't.

The hardtack box was ubiquitous, and useful, besides, and they 'still' show up.

Vaya,

Scouts Out!



"It Wasn't Cowboys and Ponies - It Was Horses and Men.
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Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2012, 06:35:18 PM »
1961MJS, I completely understand what you are trying to say and I agree. I'm not trying to make mine look 150 years old. I want mine to look like they were made a couple of years go
George Washington "Hopalong" Strong
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Offline G.W. Strong

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2012, 07:12:01 PM »
I am going for the look of the tomato box rather than the one on the right...
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Offline FTrooper

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2012, 07:58:21 PM »
There used to be quite a few companies that made period boxes back in the day, but most seem to have disappeared.  The saddest was the guy who had the most correct and best selection of crates.  Sadly he live in New Orleans and Katrina destroyed all his patterns and research.  He is still around on ebay as boxmaker I think, but his selection is VERY limited to civil war period stuff.  He even had some Spanish America War stuff.

Alot of the boxes out there are based on crated found on the steamship wreak of the Bertrand which sank in the late 1880's.  You can see many of these crates at Fort Laramie in the Post Traders Store.  Laramie is pretty much the main NPS research ares for Indian War era.  They have a couple original crated (or at least planks with shipping info) and when I was there a few years ago they had just gotten in an 1870's flour barrel with most of its blue paint and shipping markings intact (it had been in a barn a few miles away since the 1870's!!!).

Another neat item I saw at a Civil War event looked like three .58 ammo crates stacked one on top of the other. In reality it was ONE crated he built to store and carry larger objects.  It really did look like three crates with lids till he picked the whole assembly up at once!  LOL!

Chris Fischer
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: late 19th century US military ammo boxes and crates
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 08:32:03 PM »


Alot of the boxes out there are based on crated found on the steamship wreak of the Bertrand which sank in the late 1880's. 





The Bertrand sunk on April 1, 1865, north of Omaha Nebraska.  Also the Arabia near Kansas City sank on September 5, 1856, both have been excavated.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

 

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