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Thread: Swords & Sabers US Military Schools, Academies and Inistitutes.

  1. #26
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    I read an magazine article about George C. Marshall; Very few VMI cadets went in to the US Army. So, this VMI M1860 is a cadet carry sword.

  2. #27

    Incredable

    Tim,
    You knowledge is golden to me.
    Thanks

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Needle View Post
    Tim,
    You knowledge is golden to me.
    Thanks
    My wife uses cruder metaphorical description.

  4. #29

    Mine too

    I think you're all in the same boat.

    Andy

  5. #30
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    Here is another M1902 style sword from Eastern Military Academy that was founded in 1944. This postwar sword has a black leather sword knot and a custom etched blade.
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  6. #31
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    Blade flinging

    I thought to examine some modern TCS to see if they had a different approach.

    I first looked at a current production WKC. There appears not to be a screw through the pommel into the grip or tang. So I gave it a twist and it would not budge. I have at my disposal a 24 inch Crescent wrench a 6 inch Machinist vise. But, we will let this remain a mystery. I could contact WKC, but what fun would that be.

    So I looked into the collection and found a Spanish made for N.S. Meyer. It can not date after 1992, so it could be 25 years old. I gave the pommel a twist and found I was not going to need a vise and big wrench.

    This quality of this sword is as good as any other I have seen. There is no other fastening method, just the twist on pommel. But note the steel tubing that supports the grip.I find no fault with the Spanish swords They are of much higher quality than the Pre WWII Lilley-Ames versions.

    I think the blade flinging is a problem with older swords that have been issued many times, taken apart many times and the brass threads in the pommel started to strip when over tightened during reassembly.
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  7. #32
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    Tim,

    Here is another current USMA sword that is very similar in manufacture to your WKC. This one was made by Eickhorn and has a different throat piece on the scabbard than the WKC but the construction of the one-piece grip is similar. This one also has the small retaining screw in the pommel just under the sword knot slot. The academy crest on the obverse guard is soldered on rather than cast into the guard. Interesting that the Eickhorn bag is also blue but it is made in lighter weight cotton. It is also interesting that Eickhorn reverted to their wartime large squirrel with sword marking for this sword. This one is not named so it is one of those that could be resold upon graduation... which is how I got it.

    George
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  8. #33
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    George, there must be a dozen versions of the WP sword. Would you please send me additional photos for my book.

  9. #34
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    I will be happy to do so as soon as the snow melts outside and I can get some good shots.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  10. #35
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    Tim Graham will be at Maryland Arms Collectors table X26. March 16, 17, 18. This is the best antique weapons show in the world.

  11. #36
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    Here is another cadet sword from the New York Military Academy. This one is a bit smaller than the others since it is a miniature. This one is unmarked as to who made it or where.
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  12. #37
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    Another creative cadet sword

    Made by Ames for Bostwick. The hilt is a typical late M1860 with spring and fall. The scabbard is the steel ACW NCO type but with an 1860 style drag. It is personalized Lieut. ... Burton. I believe this to a cadet lieutenant because this if he was commissioned he would be carrying an M1902.
    The typical late Ames generic etching pattern and the lack of fine polishing on the hilt look 20th Century to me. It is well made and practical for an academy that wants to suspend its swords with a frog. The cadet NCOs at this school my have carried TCSs.
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  13. #38
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    Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphis 7/8 scale M1850

    I am assuming this H&S imported, (France?) US marked sword, was for a military school. It should date 1850 to 1863. It has some deluxe features, including hand applied resist blade etching on sides and back, plus gold wash. The only thing it is missing is a scabbard throat.
    I doubt that it is a child's sword because of the regulation details.
    Because the scabbard was broken, I got it for a good price. Can you find the repair?
    The fellow I bought it from thought it was a regulation M1850. I convinced him that unlike a full scale 1850, it was useless as a real weapon.
    This is earliest sword that I can place into a military school category.
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  14. #39
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    Here is a photo of the above sword compared with a Horstmann M1850 Foot Officers sword.
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  15. #40
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    Unique Saber for Staunton Military Academy by Rowland, Dated 1914

    At first glance this seems to be a customized M1902. The only things that are 02 is the scabbard and the Eickhorn style blade etching. The German marked blade, has a stopped fuller and is similar to blades found on those scaled down, inexpensive, German made, brass mounted cavalry sabers. M1902s have un-stopped fullers. The hilt is a nickle plated, brass M1872 Cavalry Officers type with a black, coated, fabric wrap over a wood and cord grip with a wire twist.
    Imported or assembled by Wm. C. Rowland for Staunton Military Academy and it is dated 1914.
    New rule: Based on a lot of observation; any military item marked Wm. Rowland, Philadelphia, was probably made for a military school.
    I was told by a Staunton alumnus that Rowland was on the school's board and was also giving kickbacks to Staunton's president.
    Bezdek has William C. Rowland, Philadelphia, 1875-1920. He was selling equipment to Staunton until 1937.
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  16. #41
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    Just a quick side note. I attended Brown Military Academy starting in 1954, they had just adopted the West Point style sword, having changed over from the M1902 saber the year before. There were some of the 1902s around, and cadets being cadets, there were a few saber fights when on weekends when there were no adults around. One weekend a couplke of NCOs were up to the games, and as one backed up the stair well he made a thrust instead of the usual hacking back and forth, the tip of the saber went through the branches of the guard,and pierced the web of his opponents hand. Needles to say both NCOs were busted down a rank, after the looser got his stitches, at the infirmary.
    If you run across the M1902 cadet sabers that are beat up, this is one of the reasons.
    Roy

    "There is only one tactical principal which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time"
    General George Smith Patton, Jr. Class of 1909 USMA, West Point

  17. #42
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    There are two main causes of damage to swords: the first is poor storage conditions and the second is children. The third is neglect of maintenance; but a dirty sword is east to fix. Bent scabbards and nicked blades are much more difficult to repair. I love it when eBay listers promote there swords with battle damaged. The battle usually involves several little or even big boys.
    Get the movie The Private War of Major Benson, Charlton Heston first staring role. It was film at St Catherine's Military Academy. One of the first scenes has a couple of cadet officers going a it with their 02's.
    Studies done after the ACW showed that edged weapons did not statistically effect any battle. So real battle damage is unlikely to be found. Also, any damaged swords would go back to the quartermaster to be repaired or condemned.
    At Valley Forge Military Academy where I carried an 03, not an 02 or TCS; I never saw skylarking with swords. Broom sticks on the other hand, with garbage can lid shields, often provided entertainment. It was best to armor up with a helmet liner and added padding.
    I have several Brown M A items in my military academy collection.
    Last edited by T. Graham; 04-23-2012 at 05:43 AM.

  18. #43
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    It has amazed me through my years of collecting militaria, how many other collectors had attended Military Academies or Schools. I guess they did a good job of putting the military spirit in our minds, and blood.
    By the time I went to BMA, I already had a great interest in the military and wanted to go to the academy, Boy was I surprised, by the end of the first week I was ready to head for home. BMA was in the San Diego area, and home was in the California Central Valley, my mother told me over the phone, tuition was paid with no refunds, and I was there to stay. It took a while before I got used to the West Point Plebe system, but to this day I have never regretted attending a Military Academy.

  19. #44
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    How you must have suffered through those retched San Diego winters. I must agree; public school would have been a disaster. I have some Asbergers and ADHD, so I needed a very structured educational system.

  20. #45
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    T.G.
    It was the monthly full dress parades that were bad, especially in the summer months. We had a beautiful parade field, all grass, but the West Point full dress uniforms are wool, and in the San Diego sun standing out at parade rest you could here the rifles drop, but the cadets would just crumple silently. We were told to just step over the fainted cadets as we marched off to pass in review. I never saw an officer or NCO drop, so I guess their swords were safe.
    I would love to have a small collection of Military Academy, and School swords, but I am doing well to collect what I do. Oh, to win the lottery!
    Roy

  21. #46
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    Roy, VFMA was at is peak, 1966, when I was there. Imagine 1300 cadets; consisting of a 60 member band (considered the best military band in the country), 60 member 'field music' (drum and bugle corps), 2 full battalions of infantry, a mounted/artillery battalion with about 50 mounted on horses, around 10 on motor cycles, 4 M8 scout cars, 4 2 1/2 ton trucks each with a 105 howitzer and 11 International Harvester Scouts of which 4 are pulling a 75mm pack howitzer and 4 pulling an old British gun that seats two and looks cool, plus another 4 trucks each with a the 155mm light howitzer. Much of this was on loan from the PA National Guard.
    In the spring we had at least one if not two or more full regimental parades a week. In 1964, because of the damage to grass, the parade field was paved.
    We would maybe lose one, so during officers call senior NCOs, not encumbered with a rifle, would gather him and rifle up and place in a truck. Every one watched each other and when you saw someone going down you reached out and helped him (no girls until 2003) down gently. You them re-assumed you position in the ranks. Once down, they quickly recovered, but were kept down until help arrived. These large parades had so much going on, that spectators did not see this happening. This rarely happened, because by April, everyone was completely trained and toughened up. During the week, we had two mess parades each day and additional hours of parade training drill on Saturday morning. Of course, weather permitting.
    Our uniforms were a bit lighter in weight, than the WP type. They were custom made, so if you grew, they fit a bit tighter.
    I was in B Company and Andy Needle was in D troop, so he can confirm all this.
    This was easy for me, because when I went to public school I had to walk four miles, in the snow, barefoot, and it was up hill both ways.
    Sadly, VFMA is about half of that today.
    I have huge academy collection. Send me you personal email through my web site and I can send you photos. www.hand-tite.com
    Last edited by T. Graham; 04-25-2012 at 08:08 AM.

  22. #47
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    Roy, I had a rather elaborate description of a ca 1966 VFMA parade, hit a key and it disappeared. I do not have time time redo it. I have a huge military school collection. Contact me directly. handtite@roadrunner.com
    It magically reappeared.

  23. #48
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    Ames or Lilley buget cadet swords ca. 1900

    Background that maybe redundant.
    There were once, hundreds of military schools in the USA. The enrollments could equal a half company to a large battalion. As is typical for most private schools funds were tight.
    Ames and Lilley made 'budget' swords that must have been popular because there are a lot of them on feeBay. Of course most are described as something else like "rare 1850 Civil War NCO sword", "Junior Assistant Surgeon sword", nonsense like that. Admittedly there is no reference book that shows or describes them; other than this forum. Plus there are lots of variations. Some of the listers are guessing and some want to embellish them into something they are not. Of course, feeBay does not care.
    Here are three examples. They are similar with a plain painted steel scabbard, a rough cast or stamped drag and a frog stud. The hilts are usually two or three piece brass castings and may have a black painted cast brass grip with a simple wire twist. Pommels can be an 1860 type or a knights head. The familiar knights head pommel can be found on many non-lodge swords. (After so much time with Lilley and Ames, it seems they could make a special deal to use up excess or rejected parts.) The blade is usually about 1/8 thick and 5/8 inches wide and with a diamond section. They can also have an ovoid section.
    The M1860 pommel with a brass grip cast in one piece can also be found with an 1860 type guard. On feeBay the are usually describes as a rare ACW, presentation grade, fresh out of an old estate and belonged to the a famous (pick a side) general who lost both hands, so the hilt was tied to the stump of the longest arm and he rode into battle waving it with the rains between his teeth. I will post some later.
    Does anyone want to see some original straps to used to attach a sword to a stump? I have an estate fresh set that I will sell cheap.

    New rule No.35 any US sword with a painted brass grip and a twist is not ACW and dates around 1900.
    New rule No.36: if the scabbard throat has a simple flat flange, the sword is probably post 1900 and can be as early as 1890.
    New rule No. 37: an M1902 with a simple flanged scabbard throat was made after WWII.
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    Last edited by T. Graham; 04-26-2012 at 10:32 AM.

  24. #49
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    M1860 for the Citadel, The Military Academy of South Carolina

    Awhile back on this thread, I presented a US Model 1860 Staff and Field Officers sword provided to a Virginia Military Institute cadet in 1904. Along that same line, is the M1860 S&F made The Lilley-Ames Co., Columbus, OH, Distributed by Wm. C. Rowland, Philadelphia, PA for The Citadel and personalized W.H,. Denaro, (Cadet) Major, Citadel (19)29.

    Note; The M1860 was still in The Lilley-Ames catalog and here is another Rowland cadet sword.
    The current Ames Sword Co still has the molds.
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  25. #50
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    Some additional information on the previous entry

    The pencil is pointing at a filigree suspender ring fitting soldered to the scabbard band of The M1860 discussed above. I have seen this fitting so many times on US made military and lodge That I have a new rule.

    US Sword rule no. 27, 95% of the sword scabbards with this fitting were made after 1900. I actually think it maybe 99%.
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