The Spanish American War has been my collecting field of interest since the late 1970′s and I became a dedicated collector. At that time one could find uniforms, pictures and leather goods for that period on a regular basis at gun shows, yard sales and military auctions. Prices were most always affordable and less than one would pay for similar items from the Indian War and Civil War periods. That changed upon the 100th year anniversary of the Spanish American War of 1898. Since that time prices have steadily increased and items are much more difficult to locate. We feel that prices will continue to rise and militaria of this period will continue to be a great investment.
I developed a love for all things military growing up in the 1950′s in Great Falls, Montana. This was a time for playing out doors and most often portraying Davey Crockett, the Lone Ranger, Roy Rodgers or a Cavalry soldier. I still have my Model 94 Daisy BB gun in my collection room. Television abounded with Cowboy Westerns like Death Valley Days, Have Gun will Travel and Branded. And there were always those great movies with John Wayne such as She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, The Undefeated and The Horse Soldiers. I think it was the large Sergeant Stripes worn by Victor Mclaughlin, in Yellow Ribbon and Fort Apache that really hooked me.
Another symbol of our United States that still gives me a feeling of great pride in our country are the brass US bosses found on the Model 1859 McClellan Bridle Bits and Shoemaker Bits. In fact anytime I see a US on a Canteen, a Haversack, a rifle or other piece of equipment I appreciate these items that much more.
One essential part of collecting is the interaction and sharing of information among collectors. New collectors are purchasing their first cartridge belt and old collectors are starting to sell their first belt. Be generous of your time and knowledge, promote the love of all things military.