Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

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Date of Manufacture:1868-1920
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 6597
Measurements:OL: 88.9CM 35" BL: 74.2CM 29 1/4"

Object Description:

Manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield, Ma. - The cadet sword has a straight blade approximately 30" long. The guard does not extend to the pommel to protect the hand, as is the case of the sabers, as the nature of its use does not necssitate such protection. The blade is made up of high carbon , oil hardening steel, forged, tempered, and straightened. It is nickel plated and buffed, the blade being about 6/10 inch in width at the guard and tapering to a narrow point at front end. The guard is made of bronze and has rectangular slot for shank of blade. It is gold plated and burnished on all polished surfaces. It is cast with an ornamental design of a coiled serpent on each end, forming an enlargement at the extreme ends of guard. The center of the guard contains an ornamental design with the initials M.A. about 3/4 inch high. The inside is cored to fit the shank of blade. The grip is made of nickel bronze. It is formed to fit the hand, with grooves running around the outside having the appearence of being wound with small cord. The pommel is made of gold-plated bronze with polished surfaces burnished. It is screwed on to shank of blade, securely holding guard and pommel in place after they are assembled to blade. The outside has an ornamental design of a spread eagle. The inside is counterbored and tapped to take the end of the blade shank. The washer is made of leather, 0.07 inch thick. It is placed between the guard and scabbard to act as a buffer when sword is placed in scabbard. Complete with 29 1/2" metal scabbard - Army #4440. Scabbard is made of sheet steel, 0.035 inch in thickness, formed, and edges brazed together. It is polished, nickel plated, and buffed. It has a scabbard tip which is made of bronze, polished, and gold plated and burnished. The front end of the scabbard tip is slotted and the scabbard tip protector, which is made of sheet brass is brazed into it. The scabbard tip fits over the lower end of scabbard and is held in place by two small screws. The upper band is made of bronze, gold plated, all of the polished surfaces being burnished. The scabbard hook, which is also bronze, gold plated and buffed, is brazed to band. The scabbard linings, of which there are two, are made of wood and prevent scratching of nickel on the sword blade when inserting and withdrawing from scabbard. They also hold sword in place and prevent rattling. The mouthpiece is fastened to the scabbard by two screws, which also secure the upper band to the scabbard. The screws, of which there are four, two for upper band and two for scabbard tip, are made of brass, gold plated and burnished.

Cross bar: M.A.

As the web site photo illustrates, swords can still be seen at West Point.

Notes: Letter from Benton to Dyer dated 16 October 1867. "Sir: I sent to your address by yesterday's express a box containing a sample Cadet sword.
Agreeably to your instructions I have made it conform more nearly to the present staff sword than to the musicians sword - the one I first sent to you.
Should this pattern be approved and a number be required for the Corps of Cadets, I believe that they can be made at this Armory as well and as cheaply as they can be made elsewhere. The one I sent you was made entirely by our workmen….
P.S. The color of the gliding may be improved by making it correspond to that on the staff sword."

"There is a penciled note in Dyer's hand, 'Ask Col. B. to furnish Estimate of the cost of fifty swords like sample.' Armory production records show that 253 Cadet Swords were manufactured between 1868 and 1920….
1768 - 36
1874 - 25
1876 - 28
1880 - 14
1882 - 50
1893 - 50
1914 - 50
Total: 253
1920 - 100 scabbards only." - Kellerstedt

Kellerstedt, Burton A. SWORDS AND SABERS OF THE ARMORY AT SPRINGFIELD. New Britain, Ct. 1998.

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