Another artifact ID please

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Hi there, me again. So, this flask is part of the collection at the museum I work for, and I know nothing about it. It is purported to have belonged to Major Jeremiah Smith, who built the first territorial capitol building in the Wisconsin Territory. I am unable to definitively tie the artifact to Major Smith, (we get the "this belonged to X" story a lot!) and I am trying to figure out if it is of the period or not.
It is marked Am Flask And Cap Co., and the top unscrews.
Thanks in advance!
20201211_104735 (1).jpg
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
That is a nice flask. I hope some of our forum members can help you on this one. Museums and libraries get told lots of things that are not accurate. When I do research I sometimes see mistakes. For example if I see a "Civil War militia company" photograph that I am 100% sure is not a Civil War Militia company, should I point out the mistake?
 

lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
if I see a "Civil War militia company" photograph that I am 100% sure is not a Civil War Militia company, should I point out the mistake?
This is such a great question - I would assume folks would want to know that they have mislabeled an item. But that's professionals - it's seems to be less appreciated by private individuals!
 

connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
I would guess your flask is original. If so, it was heavily cleaned recently as both the copper and brass lack any patina whatsoever. If original, here's a little info on the flask maker:


According to THE POWDER FLASK BOOK published by Bonanza Books, the American Flask and Cap company was originally organized in 1857. It combined the American Flask Company of Meriden, Conn and a concern manufacturing Hick's Percussion caps.

"The American Flask and Cap Company was first listed in 1857-1858 at 52 Beekman Street, New York City...The business was similarly listed until 1869-70." (p 101)
 

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
I would guess your flask is original. If so, it was heavily cleaned recently as both the copper and brass lack any patina whatsoever. If original, here's a little info on the flask maker:


According to THE POWDER FLASK BOOK published by Bonanza Books, the American Flask and Cap company was originally organized in 1857. It combined the American Flask Company of Meriden, Conn and a concern manufacturing Hick's Percussion caps.

"The American Flask and Cap Company was first listed in 1857-1858 at 52 Beekman Street, New York City...The business was similarly listed until 1869-70." (p 101)
Thank you!
Are there other markings on it other then the numbers which indicate the amount of charge?
Just the makers name, Am Flask and Cap Co. Thanks for the info everyone, I didn't think that it did belong to Maj. Smith, I see it all too often where someone claims that something belonged to "X", or that it is "Y", even though there is no possible way. A great example is a hat that allegedly belonged to Black Hawk. The problem is that that style of hat wasn't made until 30+ years after Black Hawk died. Ah, life in the museum field!
Thanks again, everyone!
 

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
This is such a great question - I would assume folks would want to know that they have mislabeled an item. But that's professionals - it's seems to be less appreciated by private individuals!
I actually make it a point to update our records to show that something is mislabeled or misrepresented! And it seems to be less appreciated by the public when it is their artifact...
 

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
I would guess your flask is original. If so, it was heavily cleaned recently as both the copper and brass lack any patina whatsoever. If original, here's a little info on the flask maker:


According to THE POWDER FLASK BOOK published by Bonanza Books, the American Flask and Cap company was originally organized in 1857. It combined the American Flask Company of Meriden, Conn and a concern manufacturing Hick's Percussion caps.

"The American Flask and Cap Company was first listed in 1857-1858 at 52 Beekman Street, New York City...The business was similarly listed until 1869-70." (p 101)
I have not cleaned it myself, but that is not to say that my predecessors did not. They didn't always adhere to industry standards when it came to the care and conservation of the artifacts in our care...
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
This one is called the "sea shell" pattern. Some were cheaply made from zinc others in copper. Made in several different sizes from small handguns to sporting gun (for rifles and shotguns) dates from 1840-1870's. It's been cleaned and polished but not excessively. Nice display piece. I would get the museum to buy a copy of THE POWDER FLASK BOOK. Out of print but well worth having.
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
Thank you!

Just the makers name, Am Flask and Cap Co. Thanks for the info everyone, I didn't think that it did belong to Maj. Smith, I see it all too often where someone claims that something belonged to "X", or that it is "Y", even though there is no possible way. A great example is a hat that allegedly belonged to Black Hawk. The problem is that that style of hat wasn't made until 30+ years after Black Hawk died. Ah, life in the museum field!
Thanks again, everyone!
That reminds me of two items I saw when visiting the now-defunct museum of The Daughters Of The Confederacy that used to be in the old Texas Land Office on the State capitol grounds in Austin. One was The Spur Of Robert E. Lee - as in ONE, a single spur with absolutely NO markings or provenance. The other was a photo of A Confederate Soldier, a Cabinet Card type that didn't appear until ca. 1870 or so, showing a young man holding a ca. 1872 or later "Trapdoor" Springfield rifle and wearing Spanish-American War era uniform and equipment.

Welcome to the forums!
 

Dave DuBrucq

Corporal
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Location
Tennessee
Very nice flask. The American Flask and Cap Company was around circa 1830 to 1870. This photo is of an original (up for auction) and looks similar to yours but there are some differences. This exhibit has the patina one would expect to see on a original piece. I think perhaps in your case it is caveat emptor. There are some very nice fakes out there. Wish I could tell you more, but will have to defer to our experts for their take on it.

AF&C.jpg
 
Top