Canteen with water filtration

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
I have a little extra time today so I thought I would share my most recent acquisition. To my knowledge these do not come up for sale often so when I saw it I had to add it to my collection. The "filtering system" appears to be made out of wood, perhaps rosewood? The spout cap threads are worn so it no longer screws into place but it is an impressive piece nonetheless. I don't know a lot about what to look for that identifies a canteen to a certain depot/manufacturer and there does not appear to be any markings on the spout or sling. Any insight and opinions are welcome and appreciated.
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Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I have a little extra time today so I thought I would share my most recent acquisition. To my knowledge these do not come up for sale often so when I saw it I had to add it to my collection. The "filtering system" appears to be made out of wood, perhaps rosewood? The spout cap threads are worn so it no longer screws into place but it is an impressive piece nonetheless. I don't know a lot about what to look for that identifies a canteen to a certain depot/manufacturer and there does not appear to be any markings on the spout or sling. Any insight and opinions are welcome and appreciated.
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Very nice! Most likely a Philadelphia product, but difficult to tell without seeing the lip.
 

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Very nice! Most likely a Philadelphia product, but difficult to tell without seeing the lip.
Thank you, I thought it was an amazing piece. Unfortunately the spout has been altered to allow the nozzle piece to fit into the opening. As far as I can tell there is no lip on the spout. I have added more photos, maybe you will be able to see something though.
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Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Were these filter systems ever issued by the depots or just private purchases? I would imagine they couldn't have been super effective and were probably not a cost the government would want to take on.

I know they came in different styles and my understanding is the style I have would have had a tube that connected to the mouth piece, went through the nozzle and connected to some kind of filter compartment with a filtering agent/mesh strainer, inside the canteen. I don't hear anything rattling around inside the canteen though so maybe this is incorrect. I would imagine the tube/straw would have been nice even if the filtering system didn't work well.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
I'm not sure if this indicates anything or not but I just noticed the sling guides are smaller than on the other 3 canteens in my collection. It may be nothing but I thought I would mention it just in case it helps with identification.
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Some nice canteens here. I have to agree that the filtration system would not be all that effective.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I'm not sure if this indicates anything or not but I just noticed the sling guides are smaller than on the other 3 canteens in my collection. It may be nothing but I thought I would mention it just in case it helps with identification.
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Your other canteens are almost certainly NY Depot canteens and the one without the cover has a post war adaptation (IW) by removing the lower sling guide and the ring canteen stopper on the spout. Nice group!
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Of note, the Philadelphia canteen strap loops should be 5/8" without the hole for the stopper chain. The NY Depot was generally 9/16" and usually had a hole for the stopper chain. There were always variations to this though. The lack of a maker's mark and the wide herringbone strap, if original to the canteen (beware enhancements) are indicative of early war production. I also think I see the remnants of a lip, which also bolsters early war production. Can you feel around the top for the collar and see how wide the collar is holding the spout. I am guessing this might be US pattern 1857 canteen and as such would have a very narrow collar. The collar is how the spout is soldered to the canteen.
 

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Might help keep one from swallowing a bug or a twig at least...
Very nice pictures of a difficult item to photograph...
George
That is true, plus with the tube you could presumably drink while on the march.
Thank you. I tried my best, but it did prove rather difficult to photograph them. I used my camera phone because I didn't want to mess with the digital camera and adjusting the lenses and lighting.
 

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Of note, the Philadelphia canteen strap loops should be 5/8" without the hole for the stopper chain. The NY Depot was generally 9/16" and usually had a hole for the stopper chain. There were always variations to this though. The lack of a maker's mark and the wide herringbone strap, if original to the canteen (beware enhancements) are indicative of early war production. I also think I see the remnants of a lip, which also bolsters early war production. Can you feel around the top for the collar and see how wide the collar is holding the spout. I am guessing this might be US pattern 1857 canteen and as such would have a very narrow collar. The collar is how the spout is soldered to the canteen.
I was actually able to wiggle the nozzle out of the spout without much difficulty. I was worried about damaging it before but it is a pretty solid piece. I have attached pictures of the spout, the interior tube for the filtration system and a close up of the cover where you can see the staining around the collar. The collar actually seems wider on the canteen in question than on the dark colored canteen pictured.
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Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
I don’t have any insight to add but you have a great collection of canteens! They’re all in beautiful condition! Very cool that you were able to add one with this unique filtration system!

Frank
Thank you! I love the different colors and types of canteen covers but what really impresses me is the subtle differences in manufacturing. I've only recently started taking a closer look at them and, with the help and guidance I have received on this site, I have started to notice the slight variations. Canteens are one of the items that I've kind of taken for granted but they were absolutely an essential part of a soldiers daily life. The filtration system is very interesting to me, I'm glad I was able to add all of these examples to my collection.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
So, I believe you do have a pattern 1857 canteen, the collar is fairly narrow, the spout is almost lipless and the strap is wide and of a herringbone pattern. These canteens are fairly rare since they were poorly made and saw hard use early in the war. The filtration device is after market and very rare itself, it is doubtful this canteen saw much use if any, most likely a 90 day unit and put on the shelf. Congratulations on a very hard to find specimen!
 

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
So, I believe you do have a pattern 1857 canteen, the collar is fairly narrow, the spout is almost lipless and the strap is wide and of a herringbone pattern. These canteens are fairly rare since they were poorly made and saw hard use early in the war. The filtration device is after market and very rare itself, it is doubtful this canteen saw much use if any, most likely a 90 day unit and put on the shelf. Congratulations on a very hard to find specimen!
That's great information, thank you so much! I was happy with my purchase before but this information makes the acquisition so much better in my opinion. As always, thank you for your help!
 

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Even if it was only battle tested for 90 days, it looks bloodstained to me. Is that at all possible?
Thanks,
Lubliner.
I had the impression it was just normal age staining but I guess it is always possible. The blue denim covered canteen I have has spots on it that I would swear was blood (I posted pictures of the nicer side for this thread). There is also a cut in the fabric and a slight dent on the canteen under the cut area. I let my mind tell me this was damaged from either a saber or bayonet glancing off of the surface and there was blood staining from a battle, obviously I was super excited about the prospect. I posted it here somewhere, but in the end it was said to likely be rust/age stains. To be honest I was a little relieved but also a little disappointed as well. If it was blood that would be confirmation that it saw at least some action. I think I saw what I wanted to see and let it get the better of me.

Luminol works to identify blood but it was pointed out that it is not always effective on something so old. I never tried it for fear it could damage the canteen cover. We may never know for sure.
 

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