100 Year Old WW1 Soldier's Trunk Discovery
We got something different today
Hey guys! We've got something a little bit different today to show you. This is over 100 year old World War I era Army Air Corps, actually Air Service, Army Air Service trunk. I already said over 100 years old. Now we hope to have some fun with this today, get a few laughs, but you're probably really curious on what's in here. And it reminds me of an episode of Storage Wars. They go to a big garage open, they don't open it or they find a trunk and they have you bid and you hope something really valuable is inside. So you're all hoping that I have Hitler's PP in here. But this is World War I, so it's only the Kaisers PP.
Let's open it up
Now, let's open up. Kurt and I are going to open it up. We've seen everything that's in here, but some of the things I'm not sure what it is. So please, we want your interactive comments, be respectful. But if we get something wrong or you see something you recognize, let us know. Some of your grandfathers or great grandfather's probably had a trunk like this up in the attic and as a kid you'd like to go up and check it out. Well, let's open it up and check it out.
Let's do the outside first
Tom: Before we do let's look at the outside. First and foremost we see the guy's name on the side and Kurt I think over there it's clearer.
Kurt: I can see a little bit here. I see Lieutenant or LT S, Sigward is the last name, I can see Sigward. And then something about Air Service, maybe that says Air Service but he was definitely involved in the beginning of the Air Force I guess that is
Tom: And Sigward it really reminds me of SpongeBob, you loved that as a kid. Squidward that's what it reminds me of. Something else that I find a little bit comical, Randy to come check this out. If you can read that, I think it says never break. Now Kurt, tell us why that is ironic.
Kurt: It seems to be broken, Tom.
Tom: Yeah, right here. This is broken, this is broken, this is broken, oh no there's supposed to be a latch that goes -- That probably latches. One of the reasons I wanted to show you everything was broken is we are going to offer this on the website and if you buy it I don't want you to come back and say you know what? You're never broke was broken. Also Randy, come over here. The stenciling is here, Squidward is here as well, Sigward. And by the way, we shouldn't make fun of the man's name. He served our country and he deserves our honor, but it does sound like Squidward I hate to say it. This is broken. It's pretty much rotted off. Kurt, is yours intact over there?
Kurt: Yeah, I got some leather intact here. A little bit of cracking and scoffing but that's definitely still attached.
Tom: Okay. Drumroll. Randy drumroll, there we go. We open it up.
Now for the inside
Tom: First and foremost we see the lieutenant S L Sigward, get that right. And it is Air Service later became Air Corps and then after that became Air Force. So he was in the US Army but the Air Service and if you paint a word picture in your head, you see the bi-planes and the air crews that service the planes.
First up - World War I Canteen
Tom: So let's take a look at what we have. Kurt you know the most about this.
Kurt: Yeah, this is typical World War I canteen, they are sometimes ink stamped on the interior. There you go. There's your maker stamp, October 1918. That's on the canvas. And we'll see if this has the cup and extras inside. So buy the cup I mean the cup. So the cup is conveniently comes apart. It has a little handle so I can hold this over the fire.
Tom: Put your soup or your cup of coffee.
Kurt: And it should lock in place. I think you go like that. And then you can I don't know if you can catch all that Randy, but you pull this up and you slide it down over there. And now I can hold out my cup. Warm up, boil some water.
Tom: That's been in there for a hundred years. Oh, there's hundred year old worms inside.
Kurt: There's your cup, boil some water, make some stew, and your canteen as well.
Tom: Well I learned something new. I'd actually never seen that before. I played with World War II canteens growing up. Are they the same as this? Because I've never seen this before.
Kurt: Yeah, I've seen him like that for World War II as well.
Next up - Jogging Shorts
Tom: Alright. Next two items, not a lot of glamour to this. But this was his jogging shorts. I imagine he was stationed someplace in the summer, it must be hot because they had shorts. I like to check out -- this is athletic gear. So this was for him to jog in.
Kurt: What size is it, 30? Oh yeah, 30 waist.
Tom: 30 waist, it's skinnier than me. I think you are about a 28-29.
Kurt: I got to lose a few more pounds for that.
Tom: And then this is actually pretty cool. I think that's first lieutenant, you'll tell me if I'm wrong. Those are original wormholes are moth holes. This is very cool because there's his name, Sigward. This is made in London. Well he US Army maybe they're helping out the British economy. Well before we got into the war, which was more than halfway through, I know they did want to help out the British economy. So it would not surprise me that they contracted to help out. But this is obviously an American. The piping usually means something. It'll take one of you to comment on that, because I don't know what that means.
Straight Bourbon Whiskey from 1934
Tom: This stands out for me. And just makes me imagine that they're buddies sitting around the campfire sipping this, this shipping port until I see the date. And by the way, look at that 94 proof that packs a punch. But this straight bourbon whiskey from 1934. So what do you make of that, Kurt?
Kurt: My guess would be that the vets they all got back together and they shared this bottle for the 25th anniversary of their deployment. Maybe?
Tom: Yeah, okay, so it could have been an anniversary get together and he saved it and put it in his trunk.
From socks to gun rug to leggings/gators
Tom: These I found interesting, you guys will maybe get a chuckle. You may look at this and know what it was right away. I started to unroll it and it went from here to the other end of the room. Because at first I thought oh, these were his socks, then it was longer than a sock. So then I said a gun rug for the rifle. But that turned out it was like four times the size of a gun rug for a rifle. So then I thought, oh, you know what, back in the olden days, that's what Kurt says about when I was growing up. Back in the olden days they actually were leggings and so I looked it up. There's a picture of some here. I did see that the British army used leggings but the American army used something that looked more like this. What did you call them?
Kurt: Gators. They're used in World War I and in World War II. They're canvas gators with hooks metal hooks on the front that they could tie it up and tighten it.
Tom: Okay, so I don't know that Americans use these so either he got this from the British and used them or they were issued. But news to me. These are the leggings which I think they also called puttees [07:58], I don't know. Kind of cool.
Are these hundred year old PJs?
Tom: Kurt check out this. Well, you may not know what those are but you can tell us what they are.
Kurt: I have no idea. It looks like old rags to me. It looks like what I used to dust my house.
Tom: Speaking of dust... Don't shake them.
Kurt: It's a matching set.
Tom: Okay, so this guy brought back his PJs. Now, these PJs, I'm going to bet they have not been worn in about 100 years. And so because of my dedication to you viewers of our YouTube channel, let's check these out. Hey, I don't know this fits me perfectly. So he was about my size all the way down to the tippy toes. It could use a few more buttons though I think. I'm going to wear these home to bed tonight. I'm sure my wife is going to say honey, you smell like you're 100 years old. If I would smoke a cigarette, I would definitely put on the BJs
While Tom is off to Bed Kurt will continue the show
Kurt: Now that Tom's ready for bed. I'll take over a little bit and talk about a few things in here on my side. First is a model 1916 US holster for a Colt 1911. Colt was the only manufacturer the 1911 during this time.
Tom: Springfield as well.
Kurt: Springfield, there you go. That's why you're the expert. And on the back here you can see...
Tom: Wait time out, one more American arms. They've made 50 but they actually never went, they were all rejected. Trivia, I said that because somebody's going to comment you idiot. Go ahead.
Kurt: I'm the idiot here. So the back of the holster is maker marked by Western and it's 1917 dated. And then this is the inspector initials underneath HAB. Pretty nice example. Some honest wear but the leather is all there, the stitching is all good and it has the Lanyard.
Tom: Verdigris, the green stuff. I call it the green slime, but it's Verdigris
A 1911 Mag Pouch
Kurt: And then to complement the holster is a 1911 mag pouch, double mag pouch. 1918 dated, very strong ink stamp. For over 100 years this is doing pretty well. I wish I could look that nice after 100 years.
Cool pieces of Trench Art
Kurt: I'll move on along here it looks like we have three pieces of trench art. So someone might have been a little bored in his trench for a few hours had some time to kill and made these cool pieces of art to commemorate his time in service. This was really popular during World War I is the trench art. Really cool. And on the back of these or on the headstamp rather, I don't know if you can catch that light on the camera. But you see there's an ordinance proof stamp 1917 date. Pretty cool. This one, let me get it right for you. It goes this way. And right along here, I don't know the light has to catch it right to get that 1918 date and ordinance stamp on this one. And then the other one Tom's holding
Tom: I picked this up because I was wondering if they use these for shot glasses because they rounded the edges but I don't think so. It's not cleaned out at all. So I doubt it was a shot glass. Then I could use that sipping port. But this one is 117 and that's a Springfield ordinance stamp. So like you said shell casing they brought back. And it even says -- I was like why did they take these? Souvenir, it says it right there. That's a souvenir.
Some not so exciting stuff
Tom: Now less exciting. I think you have some buttons and collar tabs.
Kurt: The buttons are in a Russian cigarettes case. Benson and Hedges may be a popular American brand at the time. You see it was imported into New York, Montreal and London. And there are the buttons, a button collector. Maybe he broke his buttons a lot.
Tom: I'm just going to say he's really obsessed with buttons because inside here there's more buttons. This Is US button and there's a collar tab that was ripped off. Not sure why he saved that but it looks like he didn't throw much away.
Look at what was also in the truck
Tom: This deserves quite a bit of comment because this is in here. There's no writing on the back but this has to be him. We see the insignia for the Air Corp and we're going to see that again in a minute. This hat is not included. This belt assembly is not included. He he's wearing boots here and then the thin pants which we saw. But that that is Lieutenant Sigward.
Is this his wife?
Tom: And I enjoyed this, got a little bit of a chuckle because this is most likely his wife. We don't know for sure but there is writing on the back. Don't you just love that garb? A long dress and the little boots and the hats were very popular. But here's her comment. Did you ever see me look worse? The swelling hadn't left my face. And besides, I look like a turtle with this hat on. Actually, she does. Looks like Grace L so it looks like Grace L doesn't it? It could have been Grace Kelly but she wasn't born yet. Looks like Grace L doesn't it so that must be somebody they know. My comment about the swelling her face. If she had gotten struck in the face, she probably wouldn't be making a joke out of it. They didn't have Botox back then and they didn't generally do facelifts. So my guess is she had her wisdom teeth out. Because back then that's what they would do, take out your wisdom teeth and your face would stay swollen for a couple of weeks.
We also had a wool sweater in the trunk
Tom: Next is a sweater. This is a gift from home because this is not military issue. It's a very heavy wool sweater. And what I noticed is his initials are in the back here this is reversed because I think isn't this initials, SLS. So this is inside out but I'm sure his wife or mother made this and sent it to him while he was serving in Europe.
A belt buckle too
Tom: Down this way. Kurt, I'll let you talk about the belt buckle a little bit not much to it.
Kurt: Yeah, just the canvas belt buckle. Looks like it's in great condition. It could also be... oh there you go. It's Mills. I believe that's the Mills logo. One of the more prominent manufacturers of canvas gear at the time. I think this is a belt and not a rifle sling.
Tom: Oh yeah. That was a belt. It was a cheaper quality belt. They had officers belts so I'm not sure if that was one that he -- Oh check the waist out because we already know he has a 30 inch waist. You tell me is it 30 inches?
Kurt: Yeah. It's about 30 inches.
Tom: So that could have been his.
Why is this here?
Now this looks like a Parsons. You know how they wear the collar. This is just a ripped off collar. No idea why it's in here but it must have meant something to him.
The thin pants
Tom: I already mentioned. You see him in the boots and the thinner pants. There they are. There wasn't a lot here. Oh, there's kind of like what you're talking about with a leggings but your boots would go over this. Also use for riding horses. They still had horses. They still used a lot of horses in World War I. And we're going to see more evidence of that.
Kurt: So this is reinforced here, right?
Tom: Yeah, and I don't know if we see a label. His initials are here, SLS. So these were his when he served and I do not see any label.
Kurt: Here's another SLS. Had to make sure you keep your pants.
Tom: You know what I didn't do Kurt. I'm not going to do it now because we don't want to take up a whole lot more time. We should look for the through the pockets for like a gold coin. Alright, let's lift this off and I'll let you set that aside and here's the whole bottom of it.
Ouch, it was smashed
Tom: This is a shame, it's not shameful but this is a shame that they left it in here and then close it down smart smash this hat so it's really in a bad shape. This is broken. And there's a lot of little worm holes and so it wasn't like it was kept in the attic they didn't have many mothballs I'm grateful for the no mothballs for the smell but not grateful because of the damage done. On the inside, there's a label here. Arcadia, Florida. And that was the store that it came out of. And I found something under here. I don't know the meaning of this. So this is remember the interactive part? You guys told me to duplicate mention? Oh, you know what that might be the design. If you want to get another to duplicate, if you want to replace it, mention this number and they can get you another one. I'm thinking you guys tell me if I might be totally off.
Kurt: So another leather impressed maker stamp in the headband.
One of the coolest things in the trunk
Tom: Kurt this is probably one of the coolest things in here. I mean, it's all pretty cool. But there's his there's his Air Service Logo, it says US. And there's a couple things in here initials of course. And this makes me laugh a little bit remember we they helped the British economy by buying from London. But here Kuppenheimer. That's got to be a German name, house of Kuppenheimer. I'm sure this did not come from Germany but a German descendant to send it got a contract for the military to make this jacket. So spread the wealth around but Kuppenheimer is got to be a German word for something. I think Kuppen was like cabinet, Heimer could be cabinet maker. But you Germans will be highly offended. Let me know where I'm wrong.
What is this one?
Kurt: Not sure what this is. It looks like a container of some sort. Maybe collapsible tote for carrying food or supplies or stuff for camp.
Tom: I think you're close. I think this is a food bag for a horse.
Kurt: Oh a horse. Yeah.
Tom: I could be wrong. I'm sure Randy will find a picture of one of these. And you guys can comment. But we already saw I said there's evidence of horse. The pants, it looked like he was riding a horse. So maybe whatever base he was that they would have airplane crew, and definitely horses. But I could be wrong. But I think that's a feed bag. And it's meant to collapse. You could actually carry water it, it would eventually start dripping water out. But I've seen people fill these up with water. And it'll hold water for a pretty long time. But eventually it'll seep through. Similar to the feedbag. This isn't a little better condition. This time I'm totally lost. I mean, obviously you could put something in it. I don't think it was used as a plate. But you could put something in here. And we'll just let our viewers tell us. You tell me what the heck is it? Alright, next. This is the bulk of the trunk.
This took up most of the trunk
Kurt: So this is a large heavy wool jacket. This is either a flight jacket of some sort, maybe for the winter as I'm sure being out in the open under winter conditions you want to have layers and something heavy to wear.
Tom: A lot of pocket space. So flight crew would have a lot of tools and little parts in their pockets. But also flight crew would want to be warm because of course you're out in the open. This is all wool and this comes out so you could wear it in the spring and the middle of the winter. There is the maker. I would say Adler of Rochester, Rochester, New York. I don't see his initials. Another thing that I found -- this by the way is really stained and dirty. So he could have been a flight crew mechanic and that's why it's stained and dirty. Oh, the other interesting thing is the buttons. They're very non-descriptive. The buttons on the uniforms all like had an American Eagle and us and pretty fancy but these buttons are different. And we'll let people comment. I don't see anything else that's noteworthy. This is coming apart. The leather on there it's coming on. Probably made by never break. But I don't see any -- look, see something hangs in there. Maybe your parachute. Hey, you know what I'm really looking forward to you guys commenting. Is this a flight jacket or is this a service crew? Because you could you could hook a wrench onto there. Or you could put your parachute on there.
Kurt: I'm looking for a name or something.
Tom: I'm looking for gold coins. I mentioned gold coins. You know, you bought you buy this chest and you hope you find some more treasure.
Look what else was in the trunk
Tom: There is one more item in here. And it's not mouse turds. Although that's what I would find in my attic. He had one more prized possession all the way in the bottom and check this out, look what he had. He had he took this with him. That's right. It's a copy of my book. Now before he left, they said you know, do you want to take your Bible? Or do you want to take Tom's book and he chose my book. So great guy. Thanks a lot for thinking of me before you went off to war.
That's all the contents of the trunk
Tom: Hey, thanks for watching, and thanks for helping out Kurt. I appreciate it. If you're interested in the trunk. We are going to be passing this along. I was just happy to own it for a short period of time and show it to all of you. But yeah, check it out if you're interested in it.
Kurt: And don't forget to like and subscribe. We really appreciate your support for our channel.