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Home Guard Case Study


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#1 deerslayer

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 09:10 PM

Received 2 home guard cases for restoration work today, they were interesting and I dug out my photos from other cases I've seen, one in person, and two from photos.

Case 1 and 2 just came from a collector (and are the ones I'm restoring), The "gun show" case I've only seen in pictures, Case 3 I've personally seen from another collector and was the model I used in my reproductions, and the case labeled "tracy" I believe was displayed at a thompson collectors show.

Case 1 was the most interesting to see as it breaks the "rules" seen in the other cases. A different type of wood, and different size dovetails, and made by joining narrower boards. I'm guessing case 1 is made from pine, while the others appear to be the luan (a type of mahogony).

No shown, but case 1 and the gun show case did not have printing on top. The "tracy" case had printng on top as did case #3.

Case 2 and 3 have been repainted at some time in the past. Case 3 having 3 different coats I seem to recall. So if they did have printing on top, it is difficult to tell.


Looking at the ends and the dove tails, there were two basic sizes evidenced by the number of dovetails.


And we now have three different painting fonts on the front.


and two on the ends (oriented the opposite direction...) (don't have and end view of the "tracy case".


The lumber in these cases appears to be the same in 4 or them, with the one case appearing to be made from a pine type wood, and also made by joining boards together (notice the seam in "case 1") instead of one wide board.

Enjoy the photos and if anybody out there has a vintage case, please post a photo or comparison.

I'm planning one more batch of cases to make. It may be the last batch as hardward is going to be tough to get.
Dan


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#2 deerslayer

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 09:33 PM

Case 1 also has "LEBUS 1940 stamped in the wood on the right side end, and case 2 has stamping also in the same place. It is not very distinct, but may read something like "NICHOLLS & JANUS 1940"
Dan

Ross,
Case 2 could likely be Nicholls and Janes 1940. The top of the 1940 if very indistinct as is the lettering in Janus (or Janes). Since yours is Nicholls and Janes 1940, that is very likely what this case is.
Thanks
Dan

Edited by deerslayer, 28 November 2009 - 10:08 PM.

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#3 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 09:35 PM

Dan, check your mail box for a couple of PM's

Ross
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#4 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 09:42 PM

QUOTE (deerslayer @ Nov 28 2009, 10:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Case 1 also has "LEBUS 1940 stamped in the wood on the right side end, and case 2 has stamping also in the same place. It is not very distinct, but may read something like "NICHOLLS & JANUS 1940"
Dan


Dan, I think the case #2 stamping may be Nicholls & Janes 1940

Is there a Broad Arrow mark?

I'll have to dig out my reference book that lists the British "contractors" by name and where they were located in England. I was unsuccessful in locating any current reference to them on the web. The town they were in was known as a furniture manufacturing area during the war period.

Ross

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#5 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 09:57 PM

I own Case #3 if anyone has any specific questions about it. This is the case that was copied by Dan to make his reproduction cases. It is stamped with a contractor name on the right end panel and has a British Broad Arrow mark stamped into the right end panel.

I am interested in hearing from more collectors that own an original case as to stampings and markings.

A question to those collectors that own an original British Home Guard case, will your XX magazines fit in their slots in both directions?

Ross

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#6 Matt in Pdx

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:42 AM

Dan,

If you are looking for original felt, the Brits inserted a piece of felt into their ammo cans for their Vickers machinegun. It is my understanding that that the felt could be placed over exposed ammunition once the can was open to prevent corrosion from gas. In any event, I have found it in yellow and a pale green and used it to replace the felt in the chest you made for me. Hopefully, we get to see before and after pics.

Matt
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#7 billie32

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 01:00 PM

i have a super condition one of these, however, it's currently in storage. did not know they were maker marked. where typically are the makers stampings?
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#8 Mk VII

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:05 PM

Harris Lebus was, at one time, a well-known furniture makers here. The firm closed in 1969.
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#9 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 04:32 PM

QUOTE (billie32 @ Nov 29 2009, 02:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i have a super condition one of these, however, it's currently in storage. did not know they were maker marked. where typically are the makers stampings?


Billie32, while looking at the front of the case, my case is marked on the right end panel board, the stamping is in a vertical direction with a name and year. I assume that Nicholls & Janes is the manufacturer. The year 1940 is stamped in a line below the Nicholls & Janes. My case has a British Broad Arrow stamping that face up and is stamped into the bottom board as well as into the right end panel board.

Ross


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#10 deerslayer

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 07:29 PM

I just took a look and both case 1 and 2 have the broad arrow mark on the right panel. Isn't it interesting to see what infomation show up. MkVII finds the furniture maker that likely produced some of these chests. I'll try to get photos of the stampings tomorrow. This whole thing might make a good pinned topic when its done to serve as reference material.
Dan
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#11 dalbert

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 07:40 PM

QUOTE (deerslayer @ Nov 29 2009, 07:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just took a look and both case 1 and 2 have the broad arrow mark on the right panel. Isn't it interesting to see what infomation show up. MkVII finds the furniture maker that likely produced some of these chests. I'll try to get photos of the stampings tomorrow. This whole thing might make a good pinned topic when its done to serve as reference material.
Dan


Dan,

Yes, I think that once you've completed your research on these wooden cases, that a pinned post on the subject would be a good addition. Maybe it could cover all the Thompson hard cases.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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#12 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:22 PM

Dan, a couple of pictures of a British Home Guard case. I'll let you assign a "number" to it. I have it in my reference file pictures as "Koldt". Note the stenciled lettering on top of the case.








A picture of Home Guard case #3 showing the Nicholl & Janes 1940 markings along with the British Broad Arrow and crown.





A picture of original case #3 next to one of your first run reproduction cases. The original case is the flat painted case on the right. Your reproduction case from your first reproduction run is on the left.





A picture of an original home guard case on the top with your reproduction case on the bottom in the photo. Note the difference in handle size





Case #3 has some stenciled words and numbers that are painted over, but when viewed at a angle in the correct light the words and numbers are discernible. The words and numbers on the top of case #3 are similar to those found on other British Home Guard cases.

Ross
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#13 deerslayer

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:17 PM

Ross, lets call your above pictured case #107 (that's its number on top). It's labeled 107 of 258 and label is on the top left side. Case number 2 is also labeled on top, its number 100 of 258 (printed on the right side). I"ll have to get more pictures of it as the other stenciling is similar to #107. Can you tell what "number" is on the top of case 3? The "tracy" case is number "104 of 258".
Dan
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#14 james m

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:49 AM

In looking at picture #1 it appears there are three types of dovetailing used in the examples shown.
Case #1 The dovetailing appears to be flat(no discernable flaring).
Cases #2 #3 The dovetailing appears to be the more conventional wide flaring type.
Cases Unnum and "Tracy" The dovetailing appears to be lightly flared.
There are limitations to pictures and camera angles can play tricks on your eyes but that's the way I see it.
Jim
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#15 JTinIN

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 01:53 AM

Would be interested in a little more of the history of how these were used and an inside view of the actual case.
I am guessing that these were to ship and hold the Thompson in the armory, however, could also have been to hold the Thompson at an increased state of ready (i.e. home ???).
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#16 Mk VII

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 01:33 PM

Consider the following piece of film where a number them appear http://www.youtube.c...h?v=T96f70vgyAA
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#17 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:08 PM

QUOTE (JTinIN @ Nov 30 2009, 02:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Would be interested in a little more of the history of how these were used and an inside view of the actual case.
I am guessing that these were to ship and hold the Thompson in the armory, however, could also have been to hold the Thompson at an increased state of ready (i.e. home ???).


JTinIN, the Home Guard Cases are discussed in Tracie Hill's The Ultimate Thompson book. The Home Guard refers to British World War II members of the Home Guard.

A couple pictures of Home Guard cases with Thompson, drum(s), XX magazine(s) and cleaning rod in their proper locations inside the cases.





A note regarding XX magazines and the slots in my case. I can only insert the XX magazines feeding lips down as they will not fit in their slots magazine base down.

Ross
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#18 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE (Mk VII @ Nov 30 2009, 02:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Consider the following piece of film where a number them appear http://www.youtube.c...h?v=T96f70vgyAA


Mk VII, a neat video with the Thompson and Home Guard case scenes.

Thanks for sharing the link.

Ross
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#19 deerslayer

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 08:07 AM

Hey, did you notice that some, but not all, of the cases on that trailer in the film had a big "USA" painted on the back?
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#20 deerslayer

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:06 AM


Case 1, Lebus 1940. Note extra hole for handle on the top. Case #107 has three screws on the front side of the handle. Has the printing on both ends. Seems like it is carrying its original single coat of paint.



Case 2, note the similarity in paint job to your #107 case Ross. Both of these appear to be repainted. As such the "thompson" markings were covered, but the box numbers on top would have have to been repainted.

Would "stowage" be kind of a unique phrase to use for something put aboard a ship and kept there?
Dan


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