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Old 13th December 2021, 08:39 AM   #31
kronckew
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What were the tests & standards to be met?
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Old 13th December 2021, 08:55 AM   #32
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The letter is reproduced from “The British Cavalry Sword 1788 - 1912” By Richard Dellar on pg. 285 - 286

The spine thickness was measured against a special gauge and then subjected to a bend test, one that reduced the 36 inch blade to 29 and a half from tip to hilt.

This is the first half of the letter:
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Old 14th December 2021, 11:31 PM   #33
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From the USA, this is essentially the British proof test with slight modifications, for the 1862 sabres.



Proof and Inspection of Swords and Sabres.

1st. The dimensions and form of the blade are verified by comparing it with the model, and by applying the appropriate gauges and patterns, for the length, width, and thickness at several points, and the curvature, if any.

2d. The blade is then proved, as follows:—1st. The point is confined by a staple, and the blade is bent on each of the flat sides over a cylindrical block, the curvature of which is that of a circle 35 inches diameter, the curvature of the part next the tang being reduced by inserting a wedge 0.7 inch thick at the head, and 14 inches long. 2d. It is struck twice, on each of the flat sides, on a block of oak wood, the curvature of which is the same as the above. 3d. It is struck twice on the edge and twice on the back across an oak block 1 foot in diameter. 4th. The point is placed on the floor and the blade bent until it describes an arc having the versed Bine indicated in the above table. After these trials, the blade is examined to see that it is free from flaws, cracks, or other imperfections, and that it is not set,—that is to say, does not remain bent.

The blade of the artillery sword is proved by striking each of the sides and edges twice on a flat block of hard oak wood.

The stamp of approval or condemnation is placed on the side of the blade, below the tang.

3d. The form, dimensions, and workmanship of the mountings are examined and compared with the model. After the blade is mounted, the sword is again examined, and it is struck four times on a hard block of wood, to test the strength of the mountings. The quality of the brass mountings may be tested by breaking a certain number, not more than 4 in each hundred, which should be taken from the pieces rejected for erroneous dimensions.
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Old 15th December 2021, 01:44 AM   #34
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Thanks for sharing that, kronckew.

From my understanding, the idea of centralised proof testing of swords was still in it's infancy in the late 18th Century. It wasn't until the 1796 Pattern cavalry trooper's swords that we begin to see proof marks from the government Ordnance Board.

In later quality testing, they changed the practice of bending the blade to hitting it against a cast iron bar with a spring-loaded machine. And we can begin to see the formation of what later became the standard.
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Old 15th December 2021, 11:41 AM   #35
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I have one of these with the usual conventional blade, but also owned one with a narrower and very much more curved blue & gilt blade (see pic) - so there were a number of variations.
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