Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Model 1872 US Public Health Service Sword

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    Posts
    1,587

    Model 1872 US Public Health Service Sword

    Gents,

    I picked up a Model 1872 US Public Health Service (USPHS) Officer sword at the ASMIC show over the weekend that I thought I would show.

    This sword is so scarce that Harold Peterson could not find an example to photograph for his "The American Sword" book and had to simply describe it in the text. I have never seen one of these swords in the flesh until I found it laying on a sale table at the militaria show. This sword has no maker markings but has a gilt washed blade with "USPHS" etched on the reverse. The sword came with the original sword knot, bullion hangers, and bullion belt with USPHS Officer buckle.

    The USPHS was founded in 1798 and built its first hospital in 1801. It was called the Marine Hospital Service in 1870 and the medical staff doctors were uniformed in 1871. The Marine Hospital Service/Public Health Service morphed into the Public Health Service in 1912 and began to commission nurses, scientists, pharmacists, etc. in 1944. USPHS personnel are considered as non-combatant commissioned officers and serve in a variety of USPHS and military services such as the Coast Guard and CIA. When serving with other agencies officers wear the uniform of that service with their own rank insignia.

    Enjoy!
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,068
    Very nice. But is this a later sword for that service? I recall Peterson showing a cross-hilt with folding guards, vase pommel and shagreen grip as c. 1870 and another of this type for the years before that. The white pebble grips (faux or genuine rayskin) are usually for later period naval/PHS swords, I believe. Enjoy your sword!

    My mistake--sorry. That is a nice carriage with the regain hook.
    Last edited by T. Donoho; 09-13-2017 at 10:11 PM.
    Tom Donoho

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    683
    Nice sword. You can buy a new one from Marlow White, but of course the quality is nowhere near yours. Amoskeag had a similar one in their Nov 2015 auction with a 1914-dated inscription. The pre-sale estimate was $2-3K, so I didn't rush in to bid. I see a major dealer now has this same sword for sale, but the price is still out of my league

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    Posts
    1,587
    This is indeed the later sword as this sword would have the blade etched with the Marine Hospital Service designation prior to 1912 and with the Public Health Service designation after that date. This sword does not have the folding rear guard but interestingly the insert for the folding guard is present as a separate piece in the rear cross guard. The grips are white sharkskin with thirteen turns of gilt wire in very nice condition.

    Here are a couple of more shots of the sword.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •