View Full Version : Poor Mans Suspenders

John Legg
12-03-2006, 09:55 PM
Im trying to find more information on these pair of suspenders. i cant seem to find and pics.

is it basically a peice of material folder over and topstitched? with buttonholes that fit to your size?

heres a pattern of what i think. yes i know its pretty bad :) but it makes the point.


12-08-2006, 04:32 PM
If you want to try something that some soldiers did--for a free (then) pair of suspenders, try making a pair out of some musket slings. There are lots of stuff that was made of old musket slings like canteen straps etc. Suspenders was a popular use for old slings.
I'm sure with a mimum of hunting you could find an original design for a pair...or make up your own as you would have done had you been back then.

John Legg
12-08-2006, 06:45 PM
sounds cool. id like to see some information on this, where did you get yours?


12-08-2006, 07:11 PM
There was a spot about fragments of an original "poor boy suspender" in "The Watchdog" a few years ago. If I remember correctly they were found in Tenn. in a cabin from the 1840s or 50s. It shouldn't be too hard to get a copy of the article.

12-11-2006, 04:39 PM
sounds cool. id like to see some information on this, where did you get yours?


I don't have a pair as I don't like suspenders, but there are several pairs around in museums and collections. The first pair I saw is held by the SUV camp museum in Rockville Conn. Made and used by a soldier in the 14th Conn.
Unfortunately while the NC State Museum where I work has several things made from musket slings, suspenders are not among them (or at least I haven't seen any), but I know I have seen some other places. I believe the Horse Soldier in Gettysburg had a pair for sale not too long ago.
Keep your eyes peeled for such... or design your own as your counterpart would have done back then.

12-11-2006, 08:02 PM
You might try and simply make a belt out of a musket sling. I took one that a buddy was throwing away and made a pretty handy belt to wear in camp. I find suspenders to be a pain in the butt around camp as they pull up on the trousers when I am bending over or else they cut into my shoulders. By simply sewing a knapsack roller buckle onto the end, I made a belt that works great and no one has questioned the authenticity of it. I have seen period photos of similar belts and think that they should be seen around camp more.

John Legg
12-11-2006, 08:07 PM
yeah i have a cool roller buckle belt from Dan Wambaugh that i use as a civi belt. its great.

i think im just going to go with cateen webbing or suspender webbing for this one. i might pick up a couple of yard of Ben Tarts Osnaburg, that id use for my confederate kit.


terry sorchy
12-11-2006, 10:08 PM
I have the Watch Dog article at home from a past issue.
Terry Sorchy

12-12-2006, 08:36 AM
sounds cool. id like to see some information on this, where did you get yours?

John Braden wrote a very nice article, "Brace Yourself," which is posted to the 33rd Wisconsin home page. The articles over there are excellent source material, btw.

John Tobey also addresses suspenders in an article in the Columbia Rifles Research Compendium, Article II-6. The first edition of the Compendium is out of print, but an updated version is currently out for subscriptions. If your primary impression is Federal, then this will be an invaluable reference.

There was a short article in the Watchdog several years ago... the 'Dog has an article index at http://www.watchdogreview.com, and back issues are available from the publisher for around $4 apiece, cheaper if it's before 1999, when they went from 8 pages per issue to 20.

Thumbing through several of the tabletop style reference books last night while looking for something else, there were several nice color photos of various styles of suspenders... Copies of Echoes of Glory and the big Don Troiani book can also be your firend.

Finally, if you get flummoxed by the whole idea of suspenders, do what the boys of '61 often did -- go without (suspenders were not an issue item), or simply wear a waist belt to hold your britches up.

John Legg
12-12-2006, 02:56 PM
Terry is going to send me the article. thankss