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Thread: Harding Uniform & Regalia Co. Research Question

  1. #1
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    Harding Uniform & Regalia Co. Research Question

    Gentlemen,

    I have been researching the Harding Uniform & Reglia Co. of Boston and need a little assistance. Harding assembled/retailed high quality swords and their mark will be found on various post 1900 swords. The successful military supply company was formed in 1900 by George F. Harding. In 1904 the company was incorporated with George F. Harding as President, Josie M. Harding as clerk, and Alvin Smith as treasurer. In 1917 sons Charles T. Harding and Robert E. Harding became vice president and secretary respectively according to "History of Massachusetts Industries" by Orra Stone.

    George F. Harding was a Civil War veteran with a pension application file of "XL-2.374.254" but the National Archives does not have a copy. He also served as a Sergeant in the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company of Boston in 1913. I can find little else on him.

    Charles T. Harding was a WWI veteran serving at the rank of Major and was also a member of the Sons of Union Veterans Camp # 30. Again, little information is available on him.

    I am specifically looking for photographs of both of these men and a copy of the letterhead or masthead of the Company from around WWI if anyone has access to such information.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  2. #2
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    George, I went through my swords and found that Harding Liked Ames and later Eickhorn. Do you want more Info.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that information Tim. That helps explain why I have two gilt Harding presentation grade M1902s that are two years apart but have different guard castings and tang buttons. The other fittings are the same but the guards are cast from two different, but almost identical, molds. Parts is parts in the military supply business!

    I am really looking for information on both George and Charles as I have their personal swords... made by Harding Uniform & Regalia of course. I am also looking for a catalog and/or a letterhead from the company with their names on it.

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

  4. #4
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    I had run George F. Harding through the nps sailor and soldier system and the only one that didn't have a different middle initial was listed a private in the Mass 1st regiment cavalry. Curious

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    I had run George F. Harding through the nps sailor and soldier system and the only one that didn't have a different middle initial was listed a private in the Mass 1st regiment cavalry. Curious
    Glen,

    When I originally wrote to NARA for information on George in 1995 they said the file existed but they did not have a copy. I guess they still do not have it. Several other sources indicate he was a CW veteran and his son belonged to the Sons of Union Veterans but the archives seem to have misplaced him. I found out that George had been a salesman for several uniform companies before he founded his own business in 1900. It seems that WWI and the Boston Police strike gave them a lot of expansion and that is when his sons, Charles and Robert, came into the business.

    There has to be a catalog or masthead for Harding Uniform from this time period out there somewhere. Of course NARA misplaced his records so maybe not.

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

  6. #6
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    Apparently still in business this century in Braintree

    HARDING UNIFORM & REGALIA CO
    35 CRESCENT AVE, Braintree, MA-02184
    781-848- 0740

    Maybe a cordial phone call about any archives or company historians

    Thre are some MIT advertisements, one from 1906 Tremont st and another 1916 on School St.

    I am curious if there is more to the old family tree, as a Newell Harding and (son?) Francis Low Harding were from the Haverhill area and were a silver shop with a location in Boston mid 19th century.

    fwiw
    Last edited by Glen C.; 05-22-2012 at 10:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    I apprecaite the lead Glen. I am always very cautious about contacting the relatives of named swords that I have. One never knows what kind of reception a collector might get from extended family. I have had too many relatives relate their ugly family squabbles and they all seem to want great-great uncle so-and-so's sword returned (free of charge of course) to them... the rightful heir. An evil step-uncle twice removed has always sold the sword out from under the true family of course.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  8. #8
    I have a Geo. F. Harding sword left to me by my parents. It is labeled as such on a textured background on the top of the 28 inch blade. The crest on the top of the grip is 2 swords, crossed through a laurel wreath, all on a field of stars. Above that are 2, what looks like $$. above that a burst of "rays" all enclosed in a shield that appears like a badge. Can you tell me anything about this? May husband and I don't know anything except what we have read in your blog. We were also curious if the "Ames" that is mentioned, is the shovel manufacturer from Easton, MA. he donated a large track of land know as Borderland State park and there
    are many remnants of his factories and home in the area. Thank You for any help. Wendy C.

  9. #9
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    Hi Wendy

    Welcome To Sword Forum International

    In looking at the genealogy of the Ames in Massachusetts we go back to at least the early 1600s. We are looking at a vast tree that includes those remaining in the Plymouth County area.
    http://john.rootsweb.ancestry.com/Ames/0768-l.html

    The Ames shovel Co. is of a related branch of the Ames family that were making swords in western Massachusetts. Chelmsford/ Dracut/Lowell along the Merrimack river is where the edged weapons business started by the end of the 18th century but for the most part (like shovels) were a manufacturer of iron and steel tools. There was also a large sector of the family that were producing iron in Connecticut, so the entire lineage of manufacturing was already pretty much in place by the time NAthan P Ames set up in the Springfiled area of the state.

    The Ames family histories of all the goings on is a bit mind boggling when you think about it.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; truly one of the early English families prospering in New England
    Last edited by Glen C.; 06-04-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  10. #10
    Hi Glen, Thank You so much for the information on the Ames family. We have always enjoyed Borderland. Could you please let me know if you could tell me anything about the sword I have that I mentioned at the begining of the e-mail? Thank You. Wendy

  11. #11
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    Hi Wendy

    Is the sword curved or straight? How long is it overall? Are there several branches to the knuckle guard or is it a simple loop?

    A picture of the entire sword and then of different sections might be very helpful for those that can help. I am not well versed on these later swords but more information about the sword might help.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; it may be any manner of sword type without a picture or complete description

  12. #12
    Hi Glenn, The sword is 33 inches overall. The knuckle guard is single and the blade is straight. It has the Geo. F. Harding stamp as I described. I am working on getting some pictures. We just have to figure it out. I was hoping the crest on the handle would be of some help. That is also described in the previous posting. Now I'm wondering if it might be a copy of an original. I will get some pictures as soon as I can. We do have the sheath for it also. It has a belt clip and metal, rounded end, but no markings. Thanks again.

  13. #13
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    Found this but not really advancing your research but fun!
    Robert
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