Original U.S. Civil War M1858 Bullseye Canteen Converted to M1878 by Hadden, Porter & Booth - c. 1863

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a genuine, maker-marked, Civil War example of the Model 1858 ‘Bullseye’ pattern tin canteen, which was then converted to the Spanish-American war style M1878 Canteen specifications. This involved removing the cover, and then the three shoulder strap loops were removed, and replaced with the M1878 trianglular bales. It was then re-covered with M1878 Tan fabric, and a leather strap hooked on. The fabric is stenciled U.S. on the rear, as most were, and the front is stenciled with NO. 67 / CO. E, most likely for a combat engineer company. The leather shoulder strap is in good condition, with the expected wear and deterioration from age.

Often referred to as a Philadelphia Depot-style ‘corrugated’ canteen, these were issued to Union troops in the field until the war’s end. Canteen consists of two circular sections of pressed tin-plated steel, formed in an oblate spheroid pattern and soldered together at the rim.

This early production canteen exhibits eight reinforcing rings extruded on each side. The canteen canteen still retains its cork stopper and iron pull ring with chain, though the chain is loose on the shoulder strap bale. The pewter spout is somewhat deformed and dented, and is maker marked with a stamped HADDEN PORTER & BOOTH. PHILA.. The bullseye-pattern with its series of concentric rings began in 1861 as an effort to increase the durability of canteen equipment. Fluid capacity of the canteen was three pints and its liquid contents were kept cool by means of the damp or wet cover.

Contracts immediately following 1863 called for the full name of the contractor to be placed upon the canteen. To take marking one step further, beginning 8 May 1864 the QMD began requiring the full name of the contractor, along with the contract date, to be placed on all items of clothing and equipage received. Canteens were no exception, as the numerous dated, late War examples found today will attest. This example, with the full maker name, was produced most likely in 1863, or possibly early 1864.

For the collector seeking a very interesting M1878 canteen that started life as Genuine U.S. Civil War Issue. Ready to research and display!

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