Luke Hatley

rivets

11 posts in this topic

Anyone Know For Sure when "Copper Rivets with the Burr "were first introduced to Harness

or used in Leather work.

I do know it was used during the War Between the States. :begging:

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Hi Luke,

Copper has been around, one way and another, for the past 6,000 years so my guess is that it was in use as a fastener pretty soon after it was first 'invented'.

Ships of the line in Nelson's navy 1800 carried leather buckets rivetted together with copper and I do believe I have actually seen leather buckets even older than that - for some reason quite a number of English churches were used to store the parish fire engine in days gone by and there was often a row of wooden pegs to hold the leather fire buckets hammered into the wooden partition walls. We have a row of such pegs in St Lawrence's church here in Ludlow.

Armour straps were sometimes rivetted on with copper as it was much easier for the 'lay person' to work than iron. It was sometimes used as part of a repair. I guess that could take us back to the time of the crusades - so say about 1100 and onwards. I have seen examples of eather straps and copper rivets on plate armour in various english castles.

Sailor's knife sheaths were often rivetted with copper and I believe I may have seen something of this in the Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth UK. The Mary Rose was Henry VIII's flagship

(see: http://www.history.uk.com/timeline/index.php ) - I was very privileged to have laid some of the first search lines on the wreck back in the 1970s whilst working as a volunteer diver with marine archaeologist Dr Margaret Rule.

The MR museum has some of the earliest leather I have ever seen - bundles of reindeer hides still saturated with tallow were found buried in the mud that covered the wreck site. I had the chance to buy one many years ago but didn't have the money! - I wasn't sure it was real either... but that is another story.

Sorry to digress and I don't think I have really answered your question either but I do believe copper rivets were used a heck of a long time before the War Between the States.

best wishes,

Ray (Hatley)

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Ray, thanks for the reply.... But i cannot say " thay had copper so they musta made rivets.

I'll check out the Mary Rose , and see if i can find a photo...

(don't be a stranger)

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Quite right too Luke - hard evidence is what is needed!

The Knight and the Blast Furnace: A History of the Metallurgy of Armour by Alan Williams has some interesting passages about copper rivets and armour found in the Sutton Hoo ship burial but it has to be said, the subject has a limited appeal so the book might not be in your public library!

That is the trouble with being an historian, it is very hard to prove anything conclusively unless the artefact actually survives however we do have some 'evidence' in ancient stories.

A good example would be the King Conchobar (Conor) who ruled his kingdom from a hill fortress called Emain Macha near Armagh in Ireland. Legend says that there were three great halls there; one for the kings, one for the severed heads and spoils of war and another for the javelins, shields and swords. Conors hall had 150 inner rooms and 'the walls were made of red yew with copper rivets'.

I did find this picture of a very early comb that was discovered when archaeologists excavated an ancient sewage pit - nice job eh?

antlercomb02.jpg

The comb is made from antler or bone or possibly a combination of both. Approximately 70 mm long – from centre of end plate and 37 mm wide at the end plate narrowing to 23 mm across centre of comb.

  • Rivets – four copper alloy rivets arranged in an irregular line but roughly evenly spaced along the side plate.
  • Teeth – one side are coarse and widely spaced whilst the other are fine and relatively closely spaced. The ends of the teeth are cut to form a sweeping concave curve on each side.

Double-sided combs were made from the about the third to the thirteenth centuries. According to the archaeologists who found it, this comb appears to fall into the last few centuries of that range.

Aparently antler was the preferred material for comb making and iron for rivets and few examples have copper alloy rivets or were made from bone. But, I guess what I am saying is that there is no reason to suppose that copper rivets would only have been used for 'hard' material fastenings. Leather is an obvious material to be riveted. I'll be in touch shortly!

Edited by UKRay

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Ed, thank you and tell your sister thanks also...

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... for some reason quite a number of English churches were used to store the parish fire engine in days gone by ...

Churches had bells to sound the alarm.

Bill

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thanks to all who gave leads to" COPPER RIVETS." research finally led me to

the Roman Army. Copper Rivets were used to Fasten the Leather Pcs together

that made up their armour...

Edited by Luke Hatley

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Luke - as noted they go way back - FWIW here's a circa 1840 sheath for your files:

1840-bowie-001.jpg

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THANK YOU Mr Burrows. it is saved..........

and i do admire your work.... :notworthy:

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THANK YOU Mr Burrows. it is saved..........

and i do admire your work.... :notworthy:

You're welcome and thank you and did you get my PM in answer to yours???

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