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Haversack
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:33 pm    Post subject: Haversack  Reply with quote

Hi Ben and Paul {and anyone esle interested}

Here are some images of the prototype Haversack we are going for.

It conforms to the Commissiat Accounts of 1810, which states that the that the Haversack is to be 21" wide, 15" deep {the bag itself is 12" deep}, the flap is 5" deep. The strap is 35" long {not including strap attchment} and 2" wide. Two cast whitemetal buttons and two button holes. I've sewn it in the same wayas the one in Pirre Turner "Soldier Accoutrements of the British Army 1750-1900" except for the cloth covered buttons. It's made in a coarse  linen but I'm still working on sourcing the correct type of linen.

Let me know what you think.

Sgt Dave

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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out an original (poss earlier?) at;
http://www.najecki.com/repro/misc/Nannos/HaversackBody.html


Last edited by Paul Durrant on Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strictly speaking, the GR is a BO marking, as it signifies the Board of Ordnance store keeper's department.  :?
This quote is a bit early for us, but not necesssarily wrong for that reason of course,
"The haversack was marked on the back with a GR and broad arrow, and sometimes with the soldier's regiment or company number."
Cuthbertson's System for the complete interior management and economy of a Battalion of Infantry, 1776, Chapter XII, article XLIV.

A ledger from the 60th Regiment in 1759 included £17 13s 4d spent on,
"Marking and numbering 1060 haversacks, and a like number of knapsacks".
It is possible that the regimental tailors adjusted the cloth shoulder straps to the proper length for each soldier, as the same ledger from the 60th also included funds spent on,
"altering 730 haversacks".

Both from, Royal American Battalion Dispersements, Halifax, July 1st, 1759, Bouquet papers, series 21654, p.176, quoted in,  A soldier-like way, The material culture of the British Infantry 1751-1768, R.R. Gale, Track of the Wolf, 2007

It occurs to me that every other regiment has a regimental tailor but we just get a 'mental one..
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Last edited by Ben Townsend on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Dave, haven't passed opinion yet. It meets the 1810 comissariat, 1812 comissariat, conforms to the surviving artefacts ie the Carmarthenshire bag, and passes the Packer test and the Turner test. The Philips Test is yet to come, but I feel confident with the correct Osnabourg selected, we will have the best haversack available to us on the current evidence. Well done mate, you have excelled in tailoring again. Now get back down in the cellar and knock 20 of 'em up in time for the agm.
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Last edited by Ben Townsend on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sylvene
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gracious!  Hand sewn.  Smilie_PDT  

*looks for kowtow icon*
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Drew
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi gents,

I too have made some of these (3), but mine are from canvas as I had a large sheet of it sitting around doing nothing (as you do).  I have loaded it with items of equal size and weight for a 3 day deployment and it copes very well.

The one thing that i found to be a bit strange is the height that it sits on your body.  This leads me to think that, although the standard stap was of 35", they where adjusted to fit the person wearing.

The linen option will be better for the hand sewing but the devil forced me to use my machine as the canvas was to tough for my week girl like arms.

Drew
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Drew, It's great that you are making headway in bringing more period kit into your ranks. Though you've made those haversacks out of canvas {Pierre Turner quotes some were made from canvas}, all surving examples I believe are in a coarse linen.

The length of the stap does make the haversack sit high under the arm, but try wearing it more slung around the back rather than down your side and over all your leather work. We did this out in the recent French event {with a few of your guys}, and found that the haversack was more accessable whilst marching and also stoped your sword from jutting out.

One thing I'm not sure about is it say's the strap is 35" long, but does this include the amount that is fixed to the bag?


I found that to hand sew these haversacks took me 2-3 hours each.

Over the years I think most Napoleonic groups have settled for haversacks that have come from the English Civil War period called, which they call bread bags. The ones the 2/95th have been using came from the 33rd, but I think these one are too early for our period. Perhaps John or Simon from the 33rd can enlighten us as to the provenance of their ones.

Sgt Dave
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Drew
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David

I took it as 35" usable, plus 2" connection, total length 39".  But practical sense would dictate that if some one was very tall (period or now) that the strap would be made longer to suit.  No use having an arm pit full of bread, then again no use if you are really short (not unlike one of your Sjt's) having the bag down by your feet.

D

(ready to delete after beer left head)
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Drew {again}. The haversack strap fixing is 2" but it has been folded over and with a quater inch hem, so the strap fixing is in fact 4 1/4" at each end. Making the useable strap 26 1/2" long. This does seam very short but like I said before the haversack should be worn more around the back rather than down the side. Ben's haversack which came from Frank Packer has a useable strap of about 28" so a little been added to fit the modern body. If your out there Frank please add your views. I was hoping to add a couple of pics showing how we think the haversack should be worn but I have gone down with man flu, so I'll put them up in a couple of days time.

Sgt Poorly Dave

P.S I think the Sgt you refer is me.
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Drew
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Show me yours and I'll show you mine.  

Now if I remember, one of your number is in the RAF and lives about an hour from me (Nuneaton) if that is correct has this person or another person close to my location have one of your haversacks so that we can compare.

Also,  You are making yours out of linen, what type (name), weight and where did you buy it.  May as well get the little things to conform (as my wife says "little is some times better").


Drew
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes the one in the RAF is him, Blakey. Stay away from the likes of him.

We will be making them from linen, called Osanburg Linen, what the weight is I'm not sure. I'm trying to find a supplier in the UK but as yet to no avail. I have posted pics of the prototype at the start of this thread.

When I'm over my man flu I'll stick a few more pics up with it loaded etc. If your going to the re-enactors market I can whip it out there for you to foundle.

Sgt Dave

P.S Blakey does this mean I'll loose my strips or even  better get kicked out the unit. Please.
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

man flu my arse.  what is wrong with you man.

unfortunately you have taken the king's shilling for life and ain't getting away from me.  have latreen duties lined up for you my friend. as for Chsn Wilkinson, of the A/Sjt is getting latreens i shall leave it to your imagination as to your punishment.

peace man, peace.
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a ref in p.35 Don Troiani's Soldiers in America 1754-1865, Stackpole 1998, to light troops in the AWI wearing their haversack reversed to prevent the flap snagging on brush.
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Frank Packer
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obadiah wrote:
Hi Drew {again}. The haversack strap fixing is 2" but it has been folded over and with a quater inch hem, so the strap fixing is in fact 4 1/4" at each end. Making the useable strap 26 1/2" long. This does seam very short but like I said before the haversack should be worn more around the back rather than down the side. Ben's haversack which came from Frank Packer has a useable strap of about 28" so a little been added to fit the modern body. If your out there Frank please add your views. I was hoping to add a couple of pics showing how we think the haversack should be worn but I have gone down with man flu, so I'll put them up in a couple of days time.

Sgt Poorly Dave

P.S I think the Sgt you refer is me.


There is a very simple reason that Ben's haversack has that strap length -- it's a duff one!  I did have some some linen which required a second shrinking to tighten the weave, but even so shrinkage might explain 33" rather than 35"; but 28" has just gone wrong somewhere, or I pieced in a strap from a different pattern by mistake (some of these were part-made last year before my move -- it's all a blur now...).

My normal practice would be to take 35" as the 'free' strap length, and then add the extra for attachment.  The current part-made strap I have here has been cut to 48" raw length.  The strap will shorten a little bit when the two running stitches down the sides are put in.  Also, after the strap is sewn inside-out, turned and pressed, the raw ends will be uneven and will need to be re-trimmed square, which will lose you a bit too.  45" or 46" is actually probably sufficient to include all the turn-under.

Historically, I imagine 35" may have been the full length, not the free length; but I try to imagine that what I make is to be inspected by the meanest, most officious Commissariat officer going, and try to meet the tightest definition of the specifications.  However, I have no record of a contractor ever voluntarily going above-and-beyond the terms of a contract where it would dig into profits -- I would say that 35" is 35"... for everyone.  Later Victorian stuff is sometimes sized in '30% large, 50% medium, 20% small', but not here.  I think the widespread 'short-inching' of extant straps and leathers in this period (where pieces are consistently undersized by 3/32" -- enough to save you leather, but not quite enough to get it rejected) demonstrates that manufacturers all always going to find the cheapest way to fulfill their obligations.  So, I would say... if it didn't explicitly state, 'and throw in half-a-dozen large sizes with 40" straps', I'm pretty certain they didn't.

My experience with varieties of patterns across different periods has led me to believe that there are very few items of generic equipment which need to be adjusted in size (i.e. enlarged) for the 'modern' frame.  Most items that I have reproduced where strap lengths are known or are written into specs will correctly fit re-enactors from 5'5" up to 6' or 6'1", and a skinny frame taller than that.  If someone is 6'4", 320 lbs, we might need to do something, but not usually less than that.

A cloth strap (taking examples from the wealth of ACW artifacts) would most likely have been shortened by folding and sewing (no cutting).  A lengthened strap would be made by cutting and adding an insert, possibly from an old haversack -- but as I said, this is probably not necessary for most men.

In terms of length -- the strap can be remarkably short because the bag portion is quite wide on these patterns.  If you think of the whole haversack making a circuit around your body and over your shoulder, this pattern has a 35" strap and a 21" top, creating a circumference of 56" total.  The standard American haversack of the 1850s/1860s (again, because we have a massive number of originals to look at) had a strap length of 43" to 44", with a 12" width of bag -- 55" to 56".  I don't know the 1860s Brit haversack measurements from memory, but I can check them later.  But the overall length and fit of these sacks are consistent with an 'expected' proportion generally.

Well, except for Ben's.  That is obviously too short and should have been rejected!  Sorry about that.  I will get a replacement haversack out to him as soon as I get a new supply of buttons in, hopefully in a few weeks.  The other one can be kept as a spare, or loaner, whatever you like.  I'm just sorry that it's created unnecessary confusion, but I hope this clears that up.

Frank
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Frank, that clears up a few conundrums.  Hoping to see you in the UK some time soon or at an event nearer you. Have you seen the Brunswickers are doing something?


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