Wwi M-1904 Springfield Armory Hospital Corps Bolo Machete Rock Island Arsenal
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Wwi M-1904 Springfield Armory Hospital Corps Bolo Machete Rock Island Arsenal:
Offered here is an excellent condition example of the U.S. M-1904 Hospital Corps Knife, just as I found it. Often referred to by collectors as the M-1904 Bolo. The M-1904 was adopted by the US military in 1904, and all of the bolo style knives were manufactured at Springfield Armory, in Springfield, MA. The M-1904 was the first widely issued medical department knife. These bolo machetes are heavy duty with a 12” long rounded tip bolo style blade that is 2 ¼” wide at the widest point and 3/8” thick. It has an overall length of 17 ¾” with a re-curved brass handguard and two piece walnut grip panels, with 4 finger grooves and Mameluke style curved pommel cap. The panels are secured to the tang by three large brass rivets, and a hole for a lanyard loop was in the pommel cap. It is marked U.S. on the obverse ricasso, over the serial number 31108. The reverse ricasso was marked with the Springfield Armory mark, over a Flaming Ordnance Bomb acceptance stamp, over the 1912 year of manufacture. Issued with a heavy-duty leather scabbard with a large brass throat. The scabbards has a metal, Krag bayonet style metal belt hanger.The knife is clearly marked on the obverse ricasso: U.S. / 31108, and the reverse ricasso is marked S A / (Flaming Ordnance Bomb) / 1912. The blade retains much of the original arsenal bright polish and retains, what looks to me, its original arsenal applied edge with no additional sharpening. The blade shows some light wear, and a spot of oxidization. The wooden grip is in FINE condition as well. The grips are free of any breaks, cracks or repairs. The brass guard, rivets and pommel cap show a nice patina. The scabbard is in great shape but has some stitching missing at the tip and a 1" split in the leather that is un obtrusive. The brass scabbard throat has the same nice patina as the mountings of the knife. The belt hanger is complete and fully functional. The bottom reverse of the scabbard is clearly marked in four lines: ROCK ISLAND / ARSENAL / 1912 /H.E.K.. The initials “H.E.K.” are those of Rock Island Arsenal inspector Henry E. Kelsey, who inspected all varieties of leather accouterments that were manufactured there during the early decades of the 1900’s. **