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Thread: Assistance in identifying the model 1902 saber

  1. #1
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    Assistance in identifying the model 1902 saber

    Hello.
    Friends, help in determining the period of manufacture of the specified saber of the US Army officer, model 1902.
    I cannot find the period of production of a saber with such a mark from the Hostmann company.
    I want to buy it, but I would like to know when it was made.
    Thanks in advance for your answers.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
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  2. #2
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    This will help with dating: http://www.swordforum.com/vb4/showth...yersberg-sword
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    I would also like information as to when the circular Horstnann logo with the statue was first used. My understanding is this mark was used during the 1920s and 1930s, but it may be earlier.

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    Will, thanks for the link, but it was not clear.
    The topic contains information that the name Wm. H. Horstmann was used from 1895 to 1942.
    In Bezdek's book, I read about two periods of activity of the company with the name William H. Horstmann - the period from 1816 to 1843 and the period from 1893 to 1954.
    Since I had questions about the mark on the 1902 saber, it is logical to assume that it was produced from 1902 to 1954. Since the etching on the blade is not as high quality as on the early sabers, it can be assumed that this saber was released in the period from 1945 to 1954. I also read somewhere that on the early sabers of 1902 the handle was wooden and had a brown color.
    In addition, as I understand it, between 1933 and 1945, American dealers who previously supplied products from Germany put the words "Made USA" on their blades to indicate that they were American products, not associated with Nazi Germany.
    Since closer to the handle, next to Horstmann's emblem is the inscription "Germany", I will assume that this is the post-war (WW2) period.
    I think the definition of the date of graduation of its owner from the military academy will bring more clarity, since the saber is personal.
    These are my thoughts on this subject.
    As for the Horstmann logo with the statue, it is difficult for me to judge its time period, since being in Russia, it is very difficult to study the history of American arms manufacturers or dealers.
    However, on the net I found this image of a postage stamp or a match label dedicated to the anniversary of Horstmann's company and the same logo.
    Here is her photo.
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    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 12-08-2020 at 02:12 AM.

  5. #5
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    For some reason, the pictures were uploaded twice ...

    Can someone help with determining the owner of this saber? I would really appreciate it.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

  6. #6
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    https://books.google.ca/books?id=JN0...20army&f=false

    If this is him it may give you a lead. Dated 1940-41. (assuming this is him, date period is correct). I don't see any other WH Bokums listed.

    Name: William Harold Bokum
    Arrival Date: 6 Jul 1936
    Birth Date: abt 1904
    Last Permanent Address: Pennsylvania
    Other Last Permanent Address: Philadelphia
    Age: 32
    Gender: Male
    Port of Departure: Bremen, Germany
    Port of Arrival: New York, New York, USA
    Ship Name: Europa
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  7. #7
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    Hi Will.
    Thank you very much for your answer.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

  8. #8
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    So I found more information about a certain William Harold Bokum, judging by the place of birth, perhaps this is the same person, the information about which is posted above.

    William Harold Bokum
    Birth date 1903 city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    Marriage dd mm year city, New York, USA
    Residence year city, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
    Death date 1970 year New York, USA
    Spouse Hilda Emily Hutsel Hutzel (1909-year)


    But this did not bring clarity to me ...
    Maybe someone has access to the Academy information at West Point, which can be recognized by the owner's name on the saber?
    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 12-09-2020 at 11:40 PM.

  9. #9
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    Based on the entry in the book, referenced by Will, it follows that:

    "During the period february 1, 1941 to march 1941 inclusive, the following applicants were admitted to membership im the army Ordnance Association:.....William H. Bokum....."

    The list of these names also includes the name of William H. Bockum.
    I get that he was an artillery officer?

  10. #10
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    He didn't go to West Point. Most likely he was a National Guard officer. If he is the William H. Bokum noted above, he was a Wall broker. His father was a mechanical engineer who emigrated to the US from Russia in 1894.

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    Richard, thanks for the answer.
    As far as I understand, the US National Guard is the resirvists who are called up in case of war or any kind of emergency to maintain order?
    If the saber I have shown really belonged to the aforementioned William Harold Bokum, who was Wall's broker and was a reservist officer, then such sabers could not only be worn by regular officers?
    I always thought that such sabers were issued only to career officers who graduated from military academies and served in the US Army.
    In Russia, for example, (earlier in the USSR) daggers (kortik) were issued only to officers of the navy at the end of a military school. The dagger was worn with a dress uniform and on guard with an everyday uniform. When discharged into the reserve, the dagger remained with the officer.
    Reservists in the USSR and Russia could not have and wear such daggers, even if they were called up for military service if necessary.

    As for the search for information about William H. Bokum, who entered the Ordnance Association in 1941, I made a request to this organization, maybe they will write something to me about him.

  12. #12
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    I want to ask you to understand - is the army Ordnance Association the same as the United States Army Ordnance Corps or the army Ordnance Association some kind of paramilitary organization?

  13. #13
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    Link:

    https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/03/a...s-adviser.html

    found information about the death of William Harold Bokum, born in 1903, as well as his brief business biography.
    According to this, he was a business consultant - a purely civilian man.
    His biography does not fit with the saber arr. 1902, which I showed (and already bought it).
    Could it be another person?
    I'm at a loss .....
    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 12-11-2020 at 05:30 PM.

  14. #14
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    Vlad, Anyone can purchase a saber like this here. It is a private purchase and as such you can order it anyway you chose. Our National Guard are civilians and Military as well. They work regular jobs and many are not aware they serve in military also. They can however be called to service at anytime. Many of our recent and past conflicts utilized our Guardsmen. They are somewhat an extention or progression of our early State Militia units. They can be called to service by the Governor of their State or to Military service by President. Noting your sword belong to a Russian immigrant and I assume you purchased it in Russia the connection seems circumstantial but compelling. Very interesting history indeed. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  15. #15
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    Eric, thanks for the clarification.
    I think that this saber came to Russia by accident and this is not connected with the emigration of William Harold Bokum's father from Russia to America.
    According to the information that I got on the Internet, his father emigrated from Latvia, which was part of the Russian Empire.
    The saber, I think, has already been brought to Russia by one of the merchants for sale to collectors.
    But it is always interesting to know the history of the item, by the name of the owner, if possible. And a very interesting fact is that the saber of a man whose father once left the Russian Empire ended up in Russia, although now Latvia is no longer a part of this country.
    If they suddenly provide me with some information about William Harold Bockum from the army Ordnance Association, about how he is associated with it, I will write in the topic, if it's interesting.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 12-11-2020 at 05:29 PM.

  16. #16
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    Your post and inquiries are always most interesting. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    Your post and inquiries are always most interesting. Eric
    Eric, thanks for the kind words

  18. #18
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    Of course, it's a pity that the saber I bought was not a "George Custer saber" ))), but the study of the origin of the items in the collection is always interesting and informative.
    When the saber "arrives" to me, I will return to the question of the time interval of its production, since everything is still not clear to me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    I want to ask you to understand - is the army Ordnance Association the same as the United States Army Ordnance Corps or the army Ordnance Association some kind of paramilitary organization?
    I want to reiterate my question - the army Ordnance Association, is this not a military organization?
    The page of this organization on the Internet resembles the page of some charitable organization.
    In addition, a response from the US Army Ordnans Corps sent me to this organization for clarification on William Bokum .
    I would be grateful for clarifications.
    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 12-11-2020 at 05:29 PM.

  20. #20
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    Hello everyone.
    I could not find on the Internet any overview information about what the Army Ordnance Association was in 1941 or is now.
    According to the information posted on this page:
    http://usaoca.org/
    If this is the name of the organization, of which William Harold Bokum became a member in 1941, then here is information about its goals and objectives:
    The purpose of the U.S. Ordnance Corps Association is to:
    o promote the development, production, acquisition and support of weapons systems, ammunition, missiles and ground mobility material through research, quality education and the dissemination of research, educational material and knowledge of the military arts and sciences, with special attention to the role of the Ordnance Corps in ground warfare.
    o promote the professional education development of its members.
    o support the mission of the U.S. Ordnance Corps Heritage Center, at Fort Lee, Virginia.
    o to foster and preserve, through educational and scholarship programs, the spirit, traditions, heritage, and history of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps.
    Do I understand correctly that this is a kind of non-governmental organization that contributes to the development of the artillery corps and army weapons, that is, its members can be not only military, but also civilians who, by their actions, contribute to the achievement of the goals of the organization?
    If so, then Bokum, who joined its ranks in 1941, could also be a civilian?
    And if he was not drafted into the army to participate in hostilities in World War II, why then order an army officer's saber and put his name on it?
    It's another matter if he was drafted into the army as a reserve and was awarded an officer's rank and sent to the front, but how can a purely civilian be awarded the rank of an officer if he has absolutely no knowledge and experience in conducting combat operations?
    Perhaps I do not understand something, but during the Second World War from 1941 to 1945, civilians mobilized to participate in hostilities with Nazi Germany, whose troops invaded the territory of the USSR, could become officers only after the end of the officer courses, where they acquired although would have minimal special knowledge to command soldiers in battle.

    Take, for example, the character Tom Hanks from the movie "Saving Private District" - Captain John Miller, who was a school teacher before the war, but in 1944 he was an army captain and commanded a combat unit during the landing in Normandy - more like a fairy tale, like herself the story shown in the film ...

    I present these thoughts in order to understand whether William Harold Bokum was a reservist officer drafted into the army, or simply ordered a saber for himself as a souvenir due to the fact that he was a member of some paramilitary organization .......

  21. #21
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    This may help. For some reason the reverse was not shown but the info was documented:NAME: William Harold Bokum
    RACE: White
    AGE: 38
    RELATIONSHIP TO DRAFTEE: Self (Head)
    BIRTH DATE: 4 Aug 1903
    BIRTH PLACE: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    RESIDENCE PLACE: Old Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
    REGISTRATION DATE: 16 Feb 1942
    REGISTRATION PLACE: Old Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
    EMPLOYER: George S Armstrong and Co Inc
    WEIGHT: 170
    COMPLEXION: Light
    EYE COLOR: Blue
    HAIR COLOR: Blonde
    HEIGHT: 5 8
    NEXT OF KIN: Hilda H Bokum
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    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 12-13-2020 at 08:40 AM.

  22. #22
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    Name: William H Bokum
    Gender: Male
    Race: White
    Marital status: Married
    Birth Date: abt 1904
    Residence : Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut
    Death Date: 2 Mar 1970
    Death Place: New York
    Age: 66 Years
    Spouse: Hilda

  23. #23
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    I found the reverse of the card.
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  24. #24
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    Will, thank you so much for your help.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

  25. #25
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    I have photos of Horstmann sabers with dated inscriptions from as early as 1922 that use the same Horstmann mark and the identical "slug" seal. And that deep name engraving is not something commonly found on WWII and after sabers. I would wager the saber is pre-WWII, probably 1920s-1930s. The brown saber knot also has a 1920s or 30s flavor to it.

    As to William H. Bokum, the name does not appear in any of the Army Registers I have dating from the early 1900s to the 1960s, or in the Reserve and National Guard Registers up to 1936. The Ordnance Association is a military branch organization (most Army branches have them). Members are usually officers in that branch, but given the date and the address, it looks like the man listed is the same Bokum talked about above and his career history online shows no military service...it may be that the saber was purchased for some other reason, like a school or fraternity. Or belonged to a different William H. Bokum.

    If he was in the Army, he was very likely National Guard, as the great majority of Army Officers in the period were. The National Guard are State troops that are uniformed and equipped identical to the Regular Army and are liable to being summoned for Federal service by the President. However, he may have been a Regular Army officer who was appointed from civilian life.
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    Last edited by Sean Scott; 12-13-2020 at 10:43 PM.

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