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Thread: US Navy singlestick

  1. #1

    US Navy singlestick

    Here are some pics of my US Navy singlestick. I have had it for years but never got around to photographing it. I have not spent much time researching it, but I did find some information here;

    The "single stick" practice cutlass was professionally manufactured using a one-piece thin oak length and then handcrafted to resemble a 36" M1860 cutlass. The blade was hand hewn and sanded into an ovoid shape resembling a cutlass blade, and then shaped and styled into a wooden grip. Single Stick training was a systematic cutlass training program for all enlisted sailors from the Civil War thru the Spanish American War and the offered single sticks are from within this 30 to 35 year span of time.

    The oak blade and grip were of one piece and a thick piece of leather was fashioned into the shape of a cutlass hilt and cup so as to protect the hands and fingers during practice drill. One end of the leather cup was secured into place at the grips pommel using a screw and washer while the front of the leather was secured using a sharp wooden dowel brought through the leather and simulated oak blade.

    These single stick practice cutlasses were made in such a manner as to be easily disassembled and repaired due to the nature of their use. The single sticks being offered are in excellent condition with minimal usage marks and no splits or cracks in the oak wood. The leather cups are in excellent condition for their age, both have some crazing of the leather, are slightly dry but still having flexibility. They leather guards or cups are both held firmly in place by the rear screw/washer at the pommel and the sharp dowel at the front.
    The singlestick measures 35.5" overall, with a 29.25" blade. It weighs about 13 oz.




















  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    Posts
    1,632
    A very nice USN singlestick. I have one that is identical and completely unmarked. Somewhere I recall a period photograph of these in use for training aboard a ship around the time of the Spanish American War. These training swords are often overlooked in collecting circles IMHO.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  3. #3
    Thanks, George. Mine is unmarked, too. Is the leather guard on your hardened leather? Mine is hardened, but the singlesticks on the site to which I linked appear to be softer and more flexible. I think they are very attractive objects.

  4. #4

    US Navy Singlestick

    Here is a marked example from my collection.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,455
    Visual images are always nice to have.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    Posts
    1,632
    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Thanks, George. Mine is unmarked, too. Is the leather guard on your hardened leather? Mine is hardened, but the singlesticks on the site to which I linked appear to be softer and more flexible. I think they are very attractive objects.
    Yes, my guard is hardened leather just like yours. I have not seen the marked one shown by GC Roxbury before but that marking is neat. Both have the same wooden blade secured in the same manner it seems. Darn... now another variation to look for.

    Thanks Dmitry... I knew I had seen this photo before.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    boston usa
    Posts
    178
    Here is a marked example for Navy Yard Boston.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    boston usa
    Posts
    178
    JG... Super nice patina great example.


    GC...Very Nice ! Have not seen this Guard before.
    Last edited by Paul G.; 07-29-2013 at 01:06 AM.

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