Fort Pitt

Fort Pitt
Center of the ohio country universe

Monday, July 18, 2011

the 18th century Black Bloc carried black scalpers...

They told us to dress like protesters...we went old school

Alec and Jed....they like Bear grease

Galban is currently in the lead for most pimped out euro hat.....I finaly sport all my Ward Oles Silver

hair plucker, gun wipers and lead brooch

Black handled scalper and original....rat tail knife and original

Wow coming out of seclusion I’ve really seemed to hit the ground running. The past few weeks have been busy to say the least. Between weaving/sewing for orders or getting ready for the CLA show I haven’t had much time for anything else. I did however take some time to go the event at Niagara to hang out with the usual suspects in the Brit native/ID camp.

The event was great especially since it was the first event for my oldest daughter Riley. I have to say despites falling off the dock, the hazards of learning how to wear a wrap skirt and the million bug bites she had a blast (her last words as she drug herself to bed when we got home was “I love my shoes, I love my bed…..” so I think she’s hooked). I’d like to thank the ID gang again for making Riley feel really welcome her first time out.

I then spent 5 days in Old Virginia working on a film shoot for Lionheart films. The Film is going to show the lead up to Lexington and concord. Filming April in New England in Virginia in July is TOUGH. Greatcoats aren’t your friend…. But it was fun and I got some Boat time. SO just to get some info out there and keep from going this whole month without a post (of anything more than my humblest attempt at this or that) I figured I’d post a few images of some old stuff I’ve picked up and some repops.
First off is my fantasy knife..the black handled scalper. A knife that pops up time and time again at Fort Pitt in the BW@M papers is listed among the usual pen knives, cutteau knives etc. The price is in line with the usual knives so apart from the description I didn’t have much to go on.

Fort pitt July 6th 1765
12 blk handled knives @6

With all the knife fights in the msg board world I opted to keep this simple. I had Ken Gahagan of Pittsburgh simply copy an original knife I owned and use the handle from an example found on a Seneca site (a diamond shape handle in ebony) I opted to use a tropical wood based on the cam wood etc handles out there. So yes this knife is a guess but its an educated guess.
I also have pictured a copy of a rat tail knife I have in my collection (man does that sound pompous…it should read old knife I have stored in a cardboard box next to my computer..i need better display cases) that was copied by young blacksmith Jed Wray. Jed did a tracing of the knife and he really did nail the shape and thickness of the blade. The handle is simply friction fit and he used some pitch as well. I have no idea what the handle on these knives would have looked like.
I’ve also put up a few pics of some small items I picked up. Two gun worms/wipers from native sites. These are the type you would screw in on the bottom of your “wiping stick”. I don’t know of anyone reproducing these things (anyone?) These and the simple brass wire worms are what we should be seeing/using at events as opposed to the modern cleaning jags. Come on your gun cost $1200+, your quillwork $500+ and ya cant spring for $3 from RE davis for a correct worm?
Two other killer pieces are the brass spring or “Indian razor” fragment. These were the hair pluckers/tweezers used by natives to pluck out their hair for scalplocks etc (Mark Tully is WAY off of this in his article on them in the Packet series but the rest of his info is killer).
You can see this type of wire listed among trade goods. For example in the list of goods for the natives at Fort Cumberland on Dec 24,1756 is “ 19 pc. Razor wire” (in the wrong hands this info could make an F&I event get real weird really fast) I have the plucker next to a repro made for me by Joseph Privott of Toqua trading.

The other Item I have is a way to solve your silver shortage. It’s a native made lead brooch. This is simply a cheap copy of a trade brooch made using lead and a puddle mold. I’ve examined a number of these and they range in size from tiny to about a ¼ diameter. For these you simply sew the brooch to the garment as the tongue is attached to the rest of the brooch. Joseph has also made me a few of these that are spot on.
Back to weaving and sewing….The CLA is coming up quickly and even quicker is a week in the woods at my camp. Hopefully I’ll get a blog on hair stuff finished this week and a break down of my gear I’m taking out for a week. Also before I forget I’d like to thank all the folks who I’ve run into that actually read this thing. Thanx for the encouragement and suggestions. I’m hoping this is helping…

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