Item:
ONAC23ML021

Original U.S. WWI 2nd Division A.E.F. Engraved Indian Head M-1910 Canteen by L.F.&C. - Dated 1918

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a wonderful piece of WWI history and features the sought after “indian head” insignia engraved on the front! The soldier or Marine who this canteen once belonged to lost to history, all we know is that he was from Buffalo, New York but that does not subtract from the historical significance of this work of art!

The 1909 Infantry Equipment Board introduced a completely new set of field equipment. The board had 300 sheet tinned steel canteens and cups manufactured by Rock Island Arsenal, and 500 canteens and cups manufactured by The Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company, sent out for trial in 1909. The company held a patent for the process of manufacturing seamless one piece products. In 1910 the board decided to adopt the aluminum canteen and the first production canteens were made by A.G.M. Co. in sets with cups.

In 1911 the Army began searching for a method of manufacturing canteens that would not require paying royalties to A.G.M. for the patented "spinning" process of making seamless aluminum canteens. By 1912 Rock Island Arsenal had developed a satisfactory technique of welding aluminum and went into production. The welded canteens were made of two halves that were welded together around the outer edge.

This canteen is a welded, 1918 dated Landers, Frary and Clark manufactured canteen with improved German silver neck with a lug which secures the cap chain with a small pin. This canteen has an improved cap featuring a domed top and full knurling on the side.

The canteen is in wonderful condition with the expected dings and dents present in the body, but nothing too damaging. The engraved image is one of the best examples we have seen of an Indian Head on any object. The detail is incredible and still easily discernible.

A wonderful example that comes more than ready for display!

The History of the 2nd Infantry Division Patch / Indian Head Insignia

The Second Infantry Division patch, with its distinctive design, represents nearly a century of proud service by its “Warriors”. One can trace the origin of the patch all the way back to the earliest days of the division’s history. The story begins with an observation made by Colonel William F. Herringshaw, a Distinguished Service Medal recipient, during training with the French in 1917. Colonel Herringshaw was in command of the service and support supply units of the Second Infantry Division when he noticed that the vehicles that the French used were marked with symbols that represented the unit to which each belonged.

Colonel Herringshaw concluded that this form of identification was an excellent idea. He soon sponsored a contest among his men to design a symbol for his trucks. The resulting design became the foundation for the 2nd Infantry Division patch. According to the accounts of the event, there were three winning ideas:

-One design featured an Indian head
-Another design featured a plain white star
-The third design is a mystery as it has been lost to history.

Having not been completely satisfied with any one concept, Colonel Herringshaw reportedly decided that the Indian head and star designs should be combined into one design. The Indian head within the star design was born.

The design concept was sent to command headquarters for approval. Brigadier General Omar Bundy was the Division Commander at that time. He served on the American frontier and participated in the Indian Wars campaigns against the Crow and Sioux Indians. He also fought during the Spanish–American War with the 5th Army Corps in Cuba, receiving the Silver Star for gallantry at the Battle of El Caney. General Bundy not only approved the design but he took it one step further. He ordered that the design be put on his staff car.

In October of 1918, the 2nd Infantry Division received a new commander, Major General John A LeJeune. A little known fact is that, at this time, a Marine Corps General was assigned to command an Army division. General LeJeune ordered that the size and shape of the 2nd Infantry Division patch be changed to include a background color that represented the different divisional units. He also directed that the Indianhead design be modeled after the Indian on the $10 gold piece.

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