Original U.S. Civil War Unissued Complete Model 1858 Smooth Side Canteen With Cover and Sling - Inspector Marked

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an extremely nice, rare condition example of a complete and unissued Model 1858 “Smooth Side” Canteen from the American Civil War. Prior to 1858 canteens were made of wood or tin and came in a variety of forms and sizes. The two most prominent being the "barrel-type" made of wood with side slats like a barrel, and the "cheesebox-type" made of wood with a single wrap around side. Tin water bottles, similar to that used by the British Army, were also used, particularly towards the end of the 18th century.

In 1858, a new standardized canteen was authorized and the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot contracted with Albert Dorft of Philadelphia to produce the new item. The canteen was made of tinned iron, covered in sky-blue wool kersey, with a white linen shoulder sling. Coinciding with the start of the Civil War (April 1861), an improved version of the canteen was introduced. Known as the "bull's-eye" canteen, it had concentric circles embossed in the sides to add additional strength. Both patterns were produced for the Army throughout the war.

Some Civil War period canteens will have contractor information stamped into the side of the spout, however this one does not. There is however an extremely faint depot/inspector stamp on the sling. The marking appears to be “Taylor” a known inspector, but it is too difficult to tell. The condition of the canteen is solid and appears as if it would still serve its purpose as a canteen for many years to come! The cover, sling, stopper and chain are all in serviceable condition and present, making this a rare example.

A love, complete canteen ready for further research and display.

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