ITEM# 02242011-1
Description  US WWII Cavalry Saddler’s Tool Set, Complete, M1921/1929
Price $ 1750.00


Original, totally complete, and astonishingly rare US Army saddler’s tool set, complete with all tools and spare parts housed in the canvas Tool Roll, US M1929, and accompanied by the canvas satchel for the Saddler’s Kit, M1921. These sets were issued to every organization with a saddler on its TO&E—which included, until 1942, cavalry troops, field artillery batteries, and pack train units. The Tool Set was the major component of the saddler’s tool system adopted in the 1920s, which consisted of a tool chest (with folding legs and a detachable wooden vise it unlimbered to became a stitching horse); the Saddler’s Tool Roll, which contained the chest’s contents in garrison; and the Saddler’s Tool Kit in which the artificer would tote tools selected from the roll when on field service.

This example was assembled at Jeffersonville Depot in 1941, and is so marked on its interior. Its exterior is inkstamped: “Tool Roll, Saddler’s, Model 1929.” It is constructed of heavy Army Drab canvas, with lighter weight olive green interior flaps. The latter are extensively silkscreened with tool names and sizes numbered to storage locations marked on individual tool pockets. When totally opened up, the roll measures 42” x 42”; rolled it is 12” x 34”. The canvas satchel for the Tool Kit is constructed of bright mustard canvas with khaki web straps, and is inkstamped on its flap: “Western Mfg. Co. / San Francisco, Cal. / 1942 / U.S,” and on its reverse: “Canvas Tool Kits / Model of 1921 / Saddlers / Horse Shoers / Carpenters & / Wheelwrights / Blacksmiths.” It measures 10” x 17” when closed and empty. Both the roll and the kit bag are in excellent condition, exhibiting only storage wear.

All specified tools are contained in the Tool Roll—every pocket is full, and some extras are included—and all are in very good to excellent condition (only the rotary punch needs an overhaul). Most tools were manufactured by the noted maker C.S. Osborne, most are after-market stamped “USA” (in this case meaning “US Army”) and one bears the Ordnance flaming bomb insignia as well. All tools came with this set as original as –issued and used equipment—which is why some interesting saddler’s-improvised extras accompany the group. The complete roster of tools, using the nomenclature silkscreened on the roll, is as follows (additional notes sometimes follow the official nomenclature in brackets):

1) Knife, Rd., 5 in.
2) Creaser, Wood, Lignum Vitae
3 & 4) Gauge, Draw, Complete
5) Punch, Bag, 1 in. [3/4 in.]
6) Haft, Awl
7) Handle, Peg Awl
8) Set, Rivet, No 9
9) Rule, Boxwood, 2 ft., 4-fold
10) Plier, Steel, 6 in., Saddler’s
11) Shears, Abent, 10 in., Trimmer’s
12) Awl, Pad, Shouldered
13) Knife, Shoe, Sq. Point
14) Miscellaneous [Knife, Utility, 4 in.]
15) Nipper, Cutting, 10 in.
16) Screwdriver, 3 in. Blade, 8 in. Overall
17) Hammer, Riveting, 3-4 lb.
18) Miscellaneous [Mallet, Wooden]
19) Case, Needle, Leather [containing asst’d needles]
20) Bag, Containing [asst’d rivets—not present]; Anvil, Riveting, Army Ptn.
21) Awls, Harness; Thimbles, Saddler’s; Awls, Pegging; Blade, Draw Gauge
22) Slicker, Steel
23) Miscellaneous [Drift, improvised from lg. Nail]
24) Punch, Round, No. 7
25) Punch, Round, No. 8
26) Punch, Round, No. 10
27) Wrench for Awl Haft
28) Wrench for Peg Awl Handle
29) Tool, Round Edger No. 1
30) Tool, Trimming, Rd. Edge No. 1
31) Tool, Trimming, Rd. Edge No. 2
32) Carriage, Pricking, Box Handle, w/Small Pricking Wheels No. 7, 8 & 10
33) Tool, Claw
34) Awl, Scratch
35) Divider, Wing, 8 in.
36) Punch, Revolving, 6 tubes [4-tube; Ordnance-marked; needs work]
37) Stone, Oil, Mounted, 6 in. x 2 in. [8 in. x 2 in. Hard Arkansas]
38) Palm, Sewing, Leather
39) Miscellaneous [Awl, Sewing, Glover’s]

Housed in the satchel for the Tool Kit are three pieces which accompanied this set, but which are unofficial inclusions and so don’t fit in the roll: Mallet, Rawhide; Block, Pounding, Hardwood; and Cup, Tin [when the set was obtained the latter contained a moldy fragment of saddlesoap and an unsanitary, dessicated piece of natural sponge].

This set can be seen in the following publications: Training Manual, United States Army, The Saddler, 1926; TM 2100-25, The Saddler, 1930; TM 10-430, The Saddler, 1942; Handbook for Quartermasters, 1930; and Circular No. 4, OQMG, Components, Spare Parts, Accessories, and Contents of Chests, Kits, and Sets and Other Items of Quartermaster Property, and copies of the pertinent pages therefrom will be furnished the purchaser upon request. While seeing extensive service in the Interwar Period, through the end of the Horse Cavalry in 1942, and then with pack units (such as those of the 1st Special Service Force and the 10th Mountain Division) during WWII, most of these sets were dismantled after the war, pieced-out at surplus stores, and used up on ranches and in saddle shops. That tendency is totally understandable: to assemble a comparable grouping of lesser-quality tools on today’s market would cost at least $800. The extreme rarity of this set cannot be overstressed: in more than three decades of study of the Army Saddler I have never encountered another.