View Full Version : Knapsack, High Glossy or not?
02-18-2007, 08:38 AM
I am recreating an M 1855 knapsack after an original, which is in very bad condition.
I have seen the pictures of this item in EOG, and in other Publications. The Original we (Jan Berger and I) choose has a semi glossy finish, but on most of the other knapsack pictures i had seen, the surface was very glossy. Now my question: Are all Knapsacks High Glossy, or are there different grades of glossy? ( I think so, because the fabrication of the high glossy surface was to expensive, because it needs a lot of time to dry.) in the old columbia rifles compendium was written, that there was a "varnishing " on the sack for waterproofing, but i made oilcloth before (only the paint, no varnishing) and it was a very good waterproofing . Are there known more "little glossy" knapsacks, or is this a reason of the "Teeth of Time" . I am looking for original pictures from soldiers with knapsacks.
Thank you for help
John E. Tobey
02-19-2007, 10:21 AM
The original finishes were based on linseed oil, and even the "common oil varnish" used on some of them had a lot of linseed oil in it. The problem with these old finishes is that for them to be flexible, they had to be somewhat soft. Soft finishes lose their high gloss fairly quickly in the field.
02-19-2007, 11:13 AM
You might want to contact Mark Mason with a Private Message - he's a member here. As of a couple years ago he was still the owner of an original double bag knapsack which incidentally, he kept in a Dominoes Pizza Box. :)
It was in good shape and the coating was still very glossy as per my recollection.
Mark might be persuaded to send you some photos.
02-25-2007, 12:34 PM
I will ask mark for some photos.
02-25-2007, 12:52 PM
Email me at email@example.com, and I'll send you a photo of an original that resides in the Lee & Gordon's Mills, Chickamauga Ga. A few of us stayed there last night.
02-26-2007, 01:40 PM
Inquiring minds want to know...
Could someone post some of these pics here?
02-26-2007, 04:09 PM
Here are some pictures of an original double bag. I hope they are useful. You can PM me with any questions.
Camp Chase Fife and Drums
02-27-2007, 07:11 AM
These pics are oldies, but goodies and may help answer the question:
Note the knapsack and haversack in the background.
And, of course...
I hope this is helpful.
02-27-2007, 07:12 AM
This one also shows a knapsack, but I like the stack of converted US M1816's with slings!!!
02-27-2007, 09:03 AM
This may be some help.
02-27-2007, 09:26 AM
John, I always liked that image of the crossed haversack and canteen. Thanks for reposting it.
02-27-2007, 10:51 AM
You may want to contact Butch Myers here in Richmond. He owns an original 1855 double bag that I sold him back in about '92. It was an original that I pulled out of a stack that had come off of Bannermans Island ( nope, I never made it to the island). It was basically mint, unissued and sticky as glue on a July day due to the Linseed oil recipe.
02-27-2007, 10:56 AM
I just noticed something interesting in comparing two of the photos I posted earlier. One shows a knapsack with an issue blanket on top, the other shows what appears to be (best guess) an overcoat rolled on top with the blanket stored within. This guess is based on relative sizes of the two sections of the knapsack.
I may be all wet, but I thought the differences in dimensions interesting, as well as the fact that nothing packed within the bag was showing ("hanging out"). While it is a studio/posed shot and may not reflect how equipment was used or worn in the field, these are period images, nonetheless.
Gawd Awful Lad
03-01-2007, 04:57 PM
Could it be just stuffed with stuff hanging out in the studio, just to look correct and in use?
03-01-2007, 10:26 PM
True. I hadn't pondered that. Also, after looking again, I doubt that the frame on the left shows an overcoat... I shouldn't have let the blue tint influence me! The two blankets are definitely different sizes &/or weights.
05-21-2007, 11:32 AM
We have a guy in our group who is very good in making haver sacks and knap sacks. He uses a very authentic looking mixture to paint his goods. When new, the items are a bit sticky but that goes away rather soon. The shine to the black coating stays though...and the sack stays flexible even during the winter.
When compared to the wonderful pictures that Patrick Jones shared with us I think the pictures of my, now 4 years old, haver sack show that our comrade is very much on the right track. Have a look at my haver sack...and drop me a PM if you need more details
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