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Offline Le Loup

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need information
« on: November 24, 2007, 11:42:34 PM »
Hi, my period in living history is 1700-1760, however some of my equipment should date to the 17th century. Even my clothing design is early, because fashions were slow to change in the backwoods where practicality was more important that fashions. However, I am having trouble researching some items of equipment, and I would be grateful if anyone can help with suggested web sites or other information. The following list is what I need help with: KNITTED UNDER-WESKIT/SHIRT. I can find no info on description or pattern. This is supposed to be an under garment, worn in cold weather.
MARKET WALLET. Only contemporary description, and this for the late 18th century. Was this item available earlier?
SNAPSACK. Think I saw one on your site, but picture not clear enough to see how it was constructed. Another contemporary picture shows the sack gathered at the ends and tied with a leather tie. This leather tie is then secured to a carry strap. From the picture on your site, it looked as though the carry strap might be sewn to the sack?.
WATER CANTEENS, I can only find info on mid 18th century onward, nothing earlier except the COSTREL or leather JACKWARE keg. I feel there must be something else. Have read of WOODEN BOTTLE and container with ?ONE HOOP?? Was there anything else? Perhaps an item used to carry extra water in one?s pack?
KETTLES, small portable kettle for carrying in one?s pack. I can find reproductions of ones that were supposed to be available in the 18th century, that covers a whole hundred years! But besides, when asked about the original these were copied from, it seems they don?t know! I need pictures of originals.
WAIST BELT POUCH/BAG. These were apparently common wear, but went out of fashion in the early 16th century. I have however seen etchings from the late 16th century with peasants wearing these belt pouches. Any information on these still being in use 17th century?
Hoping someone can help. Regards, Le Loup.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by,
 and that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost.

Offline michaelsbagley

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Re: need information
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 08:26:55 AM »
Hey Le Loup,

The era you have cited is a bit broad, you may want to narrow it down a bit as that time in History was a bit of a transitional one, and things were changing fairly quickly (relatively speaking).

Also if you could be a little more specific as to the locale of your desired impression it could make it easier to help you. I have been focussing on a 1700s to 1720s impression (Carribean and Coastal America) over the last year (also paying close attention to 1660 to 1680 for another impression I wish to do), so take my responses with that in mind.

I don't have sources to cite for most of this, but I might be able to give you a nudge in the correct direction with these responses...

Market Wallets - I've seen them debated by re-enactors of the above time frames, but I've not seen any hard evidence one way or the other...

Snapsack - I've seen references to them going back to the English Civil War (1640s to 1650s) as well as some references to them during the buccaneer era (1660s to 1680s), and have heard other speak with confidence about them for later periods, so I think they would be good for your time frame. However, I have seen some strong debate regading their construction at varying times, so they may have been constructed from different materials at differing times (leather in some eras, canvas or other fabric during other times). The link here is to a good set of instructions on how to make a canvas snapsack. Although this particular interpretation has one end sealed up, and most interpretations I have seen have both ends tied.... Although anyone who knows how to sew could alter the pattern on that page to tie shut on both ends, and a decent leather worker could probably work out how to make one from leather from those instructions as well.

Water Canteens - There are plenty of references to Calabash or gourds being used to carry water throughout the 17th century, so as long as your re-enactment "area" would have Calabash or some similar gourd available, you would be safe with that... Although I am certain that a bit of research would reveal other options ( i like the idea of using a calabash so I haven't looked into it).

Portable Kettles - Some form must have existed for the military of the age while on campaign, but I have not looked into that yet, so I can be of no help there.

Wasit Belt Pouches - with the exception of what looks more like a shot pouch or something like that, I don't think waist pouches would be viable for the period. Pockets were staring to become common on clothing, so anything small would likely just be put into a pocket, and anything too big to fit comfortably in a pocket would liekly have gotten tossed in a snapsack or haversack or similar thing.

Hope this has helped....

Offline Van Schoonhoven

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Re: need information
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2007, 02:38:14 AM »

Everyone I have met in the ECW community, thus far, recommend and use the books published by Stuart Press, which specializes in the English period 1580-1660.  Two books that you might help with some of your questions are Clothes of the Common Man 1580-1660 and Headwear, Footwear and Trimmings of the Common Man and Woman 1580-1660*.  Both were written by Robert Morris.  For references, he uses contemporary woodcuts, drawings, etc., inventory list from chapmen's accounts and various wills.  I think Syke's Sutlering is the only distributor in the US.  Although, you might be able to find some used copies by googling the titles or the author's name. *This book specifically mentions bags, pouches and purses that hang from a belt worn outside of the clothing; a few reproductions of woodcuts are included. has some links that might be helpful as well.  Look at the History sorted by Period section.  You might be able to find some contemporary woodcuts, drawings, etc. through their links. is well respected.  You might try contacting them about the wallet, knitted undershirt and the pouches.

Have you looked at the books available on