personal equipment

80th Division Personal Items

Personal Items

Along with the basic kit of the infantryman, there are a number of other items that members may find are necessary to round out their impression or to provide some comfort. The following are a list of reproduction or original items that will be useful for rounding out the kit and for living history displays.

Extra Bags

Often the soldier in France found that his M1910 equipment kit did not offer enough capacity to carry all of his belongings and food. As a result, many acquired an extra bag or Musette bag to help carry extra belongings.

Great War Militaria http://www.greatwar.com offers a reproduction French bread bag that may be used as a musette bag (Item number RPF044). There is plenty of photographic and early motion picture evidence of French bags being used by American soldiers.

SHAVING KIT:

During WW1 the American soldier was required to shave daily to ensure a neat military appearance as well as the best possible seal when the gas mask was work. As a result, each soldier was to have a shaving kit. E-bay is a good source for original cased “military” or “traveling” safety razors for under $20. Most of these were manufactured by Gillette.

E-bay website – www.ebay.com

SHAVING MIRROR:

Both original and reproduction shaving mirrors are available. E-bay is a great source for original trench mirrors.

E-bay website – www.ebay.com

Tommy’s Pack Fillers has available a metal trench mirror

Tommy’s Pack Fillers
Geoff Carefoot, proprietor
18 Risedale Drive,
Longridge,
Lancashire,
ENGLAND,
UK, PR3 3SB
e-mail – geoff@tommyspackfillers.com
website – www.tommyspackfillers.com

SOAP AND SOAP CASES:

For the soldier’s toiletry kit we recommend good ol’ Ivory Soap, especially since it was available during the war. This will do just fine to wash your face and hands as well as to shave with. Once you have your soap a tin soapbox will be necessary to protect your soap and to protect your gear from soggy soap. A tin soapbox is available from Village Tinsmithing Works for about $9 (item #48).

Village Tinsmithing Works
PO Box 539
Hamptonville, NC 27020
336-468-1190
website – http://www.csa-dixie.com/villagetinsmith/index.htm

WASHCLOTH AND TOWEL:

For a washcloth and hand towel, we recommend cloths and towels made from a cotton toweling material simply known as “huck.” This material had been in use long before the war and is still in use today. Any good local fabric store should have huck by the yard from which you can make your own washcloths and towels. If your local fabric store does not have huck available then contact Joann’s Fabric and Craft StoresJoann’s Fabric is local to most all of our members and carries huck by the yard as well as ready-made towels. Huck by the yard and as ready-made towels can also be found on Joann’s Fabric website.

Website — http://joann.com/ use the website’s search feature by simply typing in “HUCK”

TOOTHBRUSH:

For a toothbrush, we recommend a bone-handled boar bristled 19th or early 20th-century reproduction. There are a number of sources that provide a period appropriate brush.

From James Townsend and Son the toothbrush can be found under the “personal accessories” section of their website, item #JT-971, for $7.

Jas. Townsend and Son,Inc.
133 North First St
PO Box 415
Pierceton, IN 46562
574-594-5852
574-594-5580 fax
website – http://jas-townsend.com

Fall Creek Sutlery also has the same toothbrush available for $6.

Fall Creek Sutlery
PO Box 92
Whitestown, IN 46075
765-482-1861
website – http://www.fcsutler.com/

Regimental Quartermaster has available a bone toothbrush (item #PE-15) for $6.

Regimental Quartermaster 
P.O. Box 553 Hatboro, PA 19040
215-672-6891
215-672-9020 fax
e-mail – regtqm@aol.com 
website – http://www.regtqm.com/ 
Regimental Quartermaster’s Retail store
49 Steinwehr AvenueGettysburg. PA 1732
717-338-1864
e-mail – cwheritage@aol.com

Tommy’s Pack Fillers has available a reproduction toothbrush. They are a white bone handle, natural bristle, period toothbrush with engraved/printed manufacturer details and/or date and various period manufacturers. Since Tommy’s is located in the UK, Pay Pal is recommended for hassle free purchases. Cost is £10.00 (about $15-$18.)

Tommy’s Pack Fillers
Geoff Carefoot, proprietor
18 Risedale Drive,
Longridge,
Lancashire,
ENGLAND,
UK, PR3 3SB
e-mail – geoff@tommyspackfillers.com
website – www.tommyspackfillers.com

TOOTH POWDER:

Along with a toothbrush, something to put on the brush is necessary as well. Toothpaste was available by the war, however, toothpaste is a early 20th-century container is not available. The best option is to use toothpowder, which is actually still common.

Fall Creek Sutlery has available toothpowder in a somewhat appropriate tin.

Fall Creek Sutlery
PO Box 92
Whitestown, IN 46075
765-482-1861
website – http://www.fcsutler.com/

Drugstore.com has available on its website Arm & Hammer Dental Care Baking Soda brand toothpowder. Great stuff and all that will be needed is a period appropriate container. It can be found on Drugstore.com’s website under “personal care – oral care – toothpastes.”

Drugstore.com website — http://www.drugstore.com/

An appropriate “tin” container can be had from Village Tinsmithing Works to place toothpowder in for about $12 (item #85). Another option from this company is their “pill or ointment” tin for $2 (item #96). There are also a number of other uses for which these containers are acceptable.

Village Tinsmithing Works
PO Box 539
Hamptonville, NC 27020
336-468-1190
website – http://www.csa-dixie.com/villagetinsmith/index.htm

James Townsend also has a tin box available that would be appropriate for holding tooth powder (item #BX-232)

Jas. Townsend and Son,Inc.
133 North First St
PO Box 415
Pierceton, IN 46562
574-594-5852
574-594-5580 fax
website – http://jas-townsend.com

HAIR COMB:

There are a number of sources available for wood, horn, or hard rubber hair combs

Fall Creek Sutlery has available a wooden comb ($4.95) or a horn “lice” comb ($7.95) in the area of their website titled “haversack stuffers.”

Fall Creek Sutlery
PO Box 92
Whitestown, IN 46075
765-482-1861
website – http://www.fcsutler.com/

Regimental Quartermaster has a number of combs listed on their website. A hard rubber comb marked “Army-Navy India Rubber Comb Co.” on one side and “Goodyear’s patent May 6, 1851” on the other is available under the section titled “campaigner” and sells for $7.50. Regimental Quartermaster also has a wooden comb (item #PE-17) for $3.75.

Regimental Quartermaster 
P.O. Box 553 Hatboro, PA 19040
215-672-6891
215-672-9020 fax
e-mail – regtqm@aol.com 
website – http://www.regtqm.com/ 
Regimental Quartermaster’s Retail store
49 Steinwehr AvenueGettysburg. PA 1732
717-338-1864
e-mail – cwheritage@aol.com

 

Tommy’s Pack Fillers has available a horn hair comb for £6.00 ($9.00 to $11.00)

Tommy’s Pack Fillers
Geoff Carefoot, proprietor
18 Risedale Drive,
Longridge,
Lancashire,
ENGLAND,
UK, PR3 3SB
e-mail – geoff@tommyspackfillers.com
website – www.tommyspackfillers.com

FOOT POWDER:

Easily found in any soldier’s kit was a tin of foot powder to help maintain healthy feet and combat any problems. While original military and commercial varieties do appear on E-bay, they can be rather expensive. Tommy’s Pack Fillers sells an original WWII period medicated foot powder shaker tin (it’s the same tin used in WW1) with WWI period label printed with “Antiseptic Foot Powder for the use of Soldiers on Service and all who suffer from Tender-foot! By T. & H. Smith of Edinburgh.” His comes filled and they can be refilled.

Tommy’s Pack Fillers
Geoff Carefoot, proprietor
18 Risedale Drive,
Longridge,
Lancashire,
ENGLAND,
UK, PR3 3SB
e-mail – geoff@tommyspackfillers.com
website – www.tommyspackfillers.com

SEWING KIT:

Within any soldier’s kit would be found a small sewing kit, used by the soldier to maintain his clothing and uniform. Many of the sewing kits were made available to soldiers through organizations such as the Red Cross. Many were made of OD green cloth that were rolled up and tied with interior pockets that held extra buttons, thread, thimbles, pins and needles. Also available were small tin canisters, which could hold thread, pins, needles and thimbles. The best source for original sewing kits in good condition is E-bay.

E-bay website – www.ebay.com

BIBLES, FRENCH PHRASE BOOKS, SONG BOOKS, ETC

There were a number of books available to the Doughboy, often bibles and phrase books to aid the soldier in conversation with his French allies. Also available were songbooks published by organizations such as the YMCA. These additions to the personal kit are easily found on E-bay

E-bay website – www.ebay.com

SMOKING AND TOBACCO USE:

For our members that use tobacco, the most authentic uses are to either smoke cigarettes or to chew. In the trench environment pipes and cigars were just too much to deal with and as a result, this is the first time that the cigarette became universally popular with the American soldier.

For our members that smoke, cigarettes must be filterless. Camel and Lucky Strike are preferred and correct. Period correct labels, wrappers, or cases are necessary.

Tommy’s Pack Fillers has available period correct cigarette packaging for British brands. These are perfect to put our modern filterless cigarettes in.

Tommy’s Pack Fillers
Geoff Carefoot, proprietor
18 Risedale Drive,
Longridge,
Lancashire,
ENGLAND,
UK, PR3 3SB
e-mail – geoff@tommyspackfillers.com
website – www.tommyspackfillers.com

Another option is a period cigarette case. These can be found fairly inexpensively in your local antique shops and on E-bay.

E-bay website – www.ebay.com

CIGARETTER AND TRENCH LIGHTERS:

Both reproductions and originals are available for very reasonable prices. Even if you don’t smoke a lighter is necessary for everything from lighting lanterns in the bunker, to lighting jellied cooking fuel, and the bunker stove.

The gift shop at the Virginia War Museum – The Duffel Bag – has available reproductions of a WW1 trench lighter. Cost is $15.

Virginia War Museum 
Huntington Park
9285 Warwick Boulevard
Newport News, Virginia 23607
757-247-8523
e-mail – info@warmuseum.org
website – http://www.warmuseum.org/

Regimental Quartermaster offers under its “time capsule” section a reproduction of a trench lighter.

Regimental Quartermaster 
P.O. Box 553 Hatboro, PA 19040
215-672-6891
215-672-9020 fax
e-mail – regtqm@aol.com 
website – http://www.regtqm.com/ 
Regimental Quartermaster’s Retail store
49 Steinwehr AvenueGettysburg. PA 1732
717-338-1864
e-mail – cwheritage@aol.com

 

Jerry Burton’s Consolidated Markets Collectibles offers original period correct lighters.

Jerry Burton’s Consolidated Markets Collectibles
PO Box 97024
Tacoma, Washington 98497
253-581-2494
e-mail – consmkts@consolidatedmarkets.com
website – http://www.consolidatedmarkets.com/index.htm

Gifts4less2U.com has available two lighters appropriate for the period. The first is a reproduction of the classic American trench lighter (item #L-B40T) for $15. The second is the “Gatsby” cigaretter lighter (item # L-B5G) for $12. The “Gatsby” copies a style both available to consumers of the time and made as trench art by soldiers during the war.

Gifts4Less2U
1713 Dean Martin Dr.
El Paso, TX 79936
1-800-328-0701
email – Sales@Gifts4Less2U.Com or jgrossi1@elp.rr.com
website – www.gifts4less2U.com

STERNO COOKING FUEL:

For those that want to heat up a cup of coffee or their rations, a can of Sterno works very well. Sterno is a jellied fuel sufficient for an individual to heat up water and rations. It can be found in any grocery store, usually in the section where grilling supplies are found as well. Of course a period container will be necessary.

Tommy’s Pack Fillers offers a “Tommy Cooker” perfect for using Sterno in as a fuel.

Tommy’s Pack Fillers
Geoff Carefoot, proprietor
18 Risedale Drive,
Longridge,
Lancashire,
ENGLAND,
UK, PR3 3SB
e-mail – geoff@tommyspackfillers.com
website – www.tommyspackfillers.com

Winter Items

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