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Remembered Today:

Were sack-needles a part of a soldier's kit?


Eran Tearosh
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All, 

 

A friend approached me with a fascinating find, from a archeological excavation on a mountain slope near the Jordan Valley - a few sack needles, 10, 20 and 25 centimeters long, made of metal. The design is exactly the same of needles used today, although from lighter materials.

 

The location is a bit strange, and I can think mostly about Great War activity, although also post-war is possible. My questions:

Were sack-needles a part of a soldiers kit, like a shovel?

If not, who would be using such needles? Sappers? 

 

Eran

  

 

 

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On 12/06/2021 at 00:05, Eran Tearosh said:

All, 

 

A friend approached me with a fascinating find, from a archeological excavation on a mountain slope near the Jordan Valley - a few sack needles, 10, 20 and 25 centimeters long, made of metal. The design is exactly the same of needles used today, although from lighter materials.

 

The location is a bit strange, and I can think mostly about Great War activity, although also post-war is possible. My questions:

Were sack-needles a part of a soldiers kit, like a shovel?

If not, who would be using such needles? Sappers? 

 

Eran

An interesting question Eran. From my knowledge, sewing was an important skill to know and part of life back then, no cable ties that I am aware of and lots of goods transported in sacks, which would need sewing up to secure the contents. Also paliasses, large bags filled with straw to sleep on.  A long needle gives you a fighting chance to close a gaping bag end as it can be sewn together and pulled up tight. Coconuts may have been transported in large sacks? I am not aware of long such needles being a standard issue but they would certainly come in very handy. Sand bag repairs? @FROGSMILEmay be able to shed some light on this, if he would oblige please? Every soldier would have had a housewife, needles and thread, pins.. for example to repair his own kit with. Regards, Bob.

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3 hours ago, Bob Davies said:

An interesting question Eran. From my knowledge, sewing was an important skill to know and part of life back then, no cable ties that I am aware of and lots of goods transported in sacks, which would need sewing up to secure the contents. Also paliasses, large bags filled with straw to sleep on.  A long needle gives you a fighting chance to close a gaping bag end as it can be sewn together and pulled up tight. Coconuts may have been transported in large sacks? I am not aware of long such needles being a standard issue but they would certainly come in very handy. Sand bag repairs? @FROGSMILEmay be able to shed some light on this, if he would oblige please? Every soldier would have had a housewife, needles and thread, pins.. for example to repair his own kit with. Regards, Bob.

Individual soldiers had small needles in their housewife’s/hussifs, as you say Bob.  There  were sack needles on the inventory of each infantry company, maintained by company quarter-master sergeants.  They were used for sewing weapons bundles (that were wrapped in hessian), and sealing/securing bales of clothing and other such, general purposes.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Found some 20 years ago in Boezinge, north of Ypres (battlefield east bank of Canal). Not a good photo but I distinctly remember that a few sewing needles could be seen in this "housewife".

Aurel

 

P.S. Added two minutes later : the needles certainly were shorter than 10 cm. Maybe only 4 or 5 ? So they were not "sack needles" ? (I'm afraid I don't know what sack needles are, apart from being longer.)

Zolder housewife (1).JPG

Edited by Aurel Sercu
Added P.S.
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