The standard Civil War Infantry ground cover. During the 1850s a great deal of experimentation with various materials for military equipment led to the decision that gum rubber was a highly resourceful material for many purposes. This is our economical import version, but its a great reproduction of 1850s Gum Blankets. Our gum blankets were made to the specifications of the Union India Rubber Company, 72″ x 46″ in size and 2.09 lbs in weight (ours are just shy of 2.3 lbs.) and 20 grommets. Made of correct-weight canvas material with rubber waterproofing on one side. Stamped with our ‘Union India Rubber Co.’ stamp (7′ x 4′), in red indelible ink.
Goodyear’s earlier patent for the rubber made the gum (or gum rubber) blanket a natural for soldiers during the Civil War. The rubber blanket and its derivative, the poncho, saw service until near WWI, and then, with little change except for the color, went through the rest of the 20th century. Many soldiers carried two, if they could get them. Not only are they useful as ground cloths, or to make into “shebangs” (Civil War soldier term for shelter), they are dual purpose for use as improvised rain gear when draped over the body and tied or buttoned in the front.
A great economy piece that will last for years if taken care of! We highly recommend hanging it up to dry after rainy conditions to prevent mildew and the material sticking together. Imported.