Original Batty U.S. Peace Flask Dated 1856


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Original Batty U.S. Peace Flask Dated 1856 – During the nineteenth century, the U.S. government purchased gunpowder in bulk quantities; therefore, gunpowder flasks were used to carry gunpowder when out in the field. The US Army relied on private companies to manufacture these powder flasks. Most of the manufacturers contracted to make the flasks, like the Batty brothers, were located in New England, the most-heavily industrialized region of the country. The founders of the Batty Company, Joseph H. and John T. Batty, were immigrants from Sheffield, England. Along with their father, they had been partners in the short-lived Springfield, Massachusetts, firm of Batty & Sons; upon their father’s death, in 1845, they reorganized as a new company. Batty Brothers produced numerous flask designs over their fifteen-year existence, but are best known for their flasks made for the military, from 1847-1858; during this period, the Battys manufactured the so-called “Peace flask”; this flask was based on the design of the rival Ames Manufacturing Company. The Batty design can be distinguished from the Ames flask by its use of an oval of stars around a pair of clasped hands rather than a circle.

This fine example of a Batty made, Peace Flask was manufactured in Springfield, Mass, in 1856 – enumerations of these attributes are clearly stamped on the ring surrounding the powder measuring spout, as well as the Batty name. One of the most attractive of all embossed flasks, the Peace Flask exhibits, on both sides of the powder-containing part of the flask, an American eagle, perched on arrows and an olive branch, above an oval of stars that surround a pair of clasped hands, within a sunburst. Below, is a “U.S.” on a shield which overlays a trophy of arms, instruments, helmet and banners. Both carrying rings remain in place; the thumb piece and spring remain in place and functional; very clearly stamped are the BATTY makers mark and 1856 date on the flat top, as is the manufacturing site Springfield Mass, Inspectors initials “J.H.” above the date and “R.H.K.W.” marked below the city. The flask exhibits a pleasing, patinated, copper and brass appearance; it remains in excellent condition with functional spring and measuring spout; Overall length – 10”; Maximum width – 4”.