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Med Chest 7

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 04:37
by TenthA86
Chest marked Battalion Dispensary Equipment #7



Chest is MD Red (burgundy) with yellow lining. Plank construction white stencils hasp has been removed

Anyone have a contents list or approx date? (see below 1900 - 1920 era)

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 00:01
by Ben

I have never seen such a chest before, and have looked through my records to see whether or not I can locate any mention of either an MD #7 Chest, or Battalion Dispensary Equipment. Unfortunately however there seems to be no information about either of these items.

I did however find one item that could perhaps be what you have here. Such an item is Item # 9752600 - Chests, Drugs, Complete. However, never having seen an image of this item, I cannot verify whether or not this is the item here.

Perhaps someone else on the forum can help you out with this query, but I'm afraid I was able to find little information about this item indeed.

Hope that helps somewhat,

Chest No. 7

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 02:41
by Alain
I can only accompany Ben, and state that I have never seen such Chest before . The only reference I can find is a Chest No. 7 containing a "Clinical Microscopy Set" (weight 140 lbs) . This comes from Appendix II, Medical Department Chests, FM 8-10, Medical Service of Field Units, dated March 28, 1942 .
That's all I have for the moment ...
Alain (MRC)

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 03:51
by TenthA86
This had me perplexed as well. I am wondering in this is a pre-WW2 chest, as it is wooden plank construction, metal hasps & hardware, etc. The burgundy paint is unusual for a WW2 or later item.

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 03:13
by docdean64
The Chest is a pre-WW1 until about the Mid 20's US Army Dispensary Chest. The stenciling style and rusty red exterior color is the biggest give away on the WW1 stuff, but I recognize the chest from the WW1 period as well, these date back in use as far as the Span-Am / Mexican Border (Think Blackjack Pershing) period. Cool find!

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 04:18
by TenthA86
believe it otr not - it was virtually a giveaway at a local collectors show - nobody wanted that heavy thing!!

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 08:08
by martyn
Great find, well done

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 04:41
by TenthA86


Chest is MD Red (burgundy) with yellow lining. Plank construction white stencils hasp has been removed missing center divider panel

Anyone have a contents list or approx date? (see above 1900 - 1920 era)
Chest reportedly came from Co Nat'l Guard Armory post WW2 era No unit markings

Re: Med Chest 7

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 00:16
by WS-G
However belated it may be, I'd like to add that this is a very superb find indeed! While the date is unambiguously pre-WW2 by a very large margin, it's reasonable to expect that many of these chests from the interwar period and perhaps even earlier would have still been in use early in the war, especially with National Guard and Organized Reserve units. The latter in particular were always chronically short of equipment and personnel, and even the Guard historically seldom received the most up-to-date equipment. Units in both components made do with whatever happened to be at hand, and usually did so magnificently.

I remember an example from my own experience as a young soldier in the National Guard (1981 -- Ronald Reagan had just taken office and I was still finishing high school in civvy life): I was a radio operator with the Communications Platoon of a Long Range Reconnaissance company, and one of the skills we were required to maintain was good old-fashioned Morse Code. We could not get a decent set-up of training apparatus for everyone through the normal military supply system, but it so happened that within our very own armory we had a well stocked unit museum filled with artifacts dating to both World Wars and even earlier. One of the guys who happened to be quite deft with the repair of archaic electronics pulled a pre-WW1 multi-station Morse Code training oscillator, capable of accommodation sending and receiving practice for six men at a time, from the museum, put it back into original working order, and that was what we used for the next several years. Again, this happened in the early 1980s, yet the training device itself dated all the way back to 1909!

My main point? Yes, it seems very plausible indeed that some of these chest would have still been in use, especially in the ZI, and especially in the 1939-41 period. Given the 70-something year span shown in my personal example above, it's no stretch to extrapolate that some unit somewhere in the US Army could very well have had a few bits and pieces of kit dating back even to the Spanish-American War, perhaps even the Indian Wars era. If one were doing a representation of the Louisiana Maneuvers re-enacted, my thought is that including a few pre-war items would actually lend to the authenticity.