Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Swiss Army Alpine Snow Shovel, 1939

Today we'll be taking a bit of a backwards trip to show off a shovel I picked up several years ago, but never got around to documenting.


This shovel is a near mint condition, Swiss Army Alpine Snow Shovel.  It was a generous gift from my daughter.


These shovels were used by the Swiss Army Alpine troops that were stationed in the Swiss Alps during WW2.  This shovel has the manufacture date of 1939, the Swiss Military acceptance "cross" stamp, and the manufacturer's marking of "ASS".  
It is interesting to note that all of these alpine shovels that I have seen, all have the manufacture date of 1939, with the same manufacturer indicated as "ASS".  The Swiss Army must have made a large, one-time purchase, of these alpine shovels back in 1939.  Nearly all of them that have found their way onto the surplus market are also in the same, near mint condition.


These shovels have a removable wooden handle, but they seem to have been carried in a fully assembled configuration from what I can tell from old Swiss documentation and photos.


There is a knurled ring that slides down the shank of the shovel, that releases the clamping pressure on the wooden handle, allowing it to be easily removed.  There is a stamped-in bump inside the shank that aids in retaining the wooden handle when it is installed with the ring slid up until it is tight.


The metal shovel blade is made of aluminum that appears to have some sort of high gloss coating or paint on it.

These shovels are quite light and very well made.  If it wasn't for the 1939 date on it, you would swear that it was a very high-end, high-tech, modern alpine shovel!

Enjoy the photos:











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