HISTORY OF SWORD ACCESSORIES

Posted by Devin on 1/31/2014 to Military History
Whether for yourself or someone else, a US Military Sword is a prized possession, and there are numerous items with which it can be worn. If you have a friend or relative whose US Military Sword collection would rival all others, you can always find a positional accessory or two for a gift, come his or her birthday or Christmas.  What follows are details on some of the items you might consider purchasing for yourself or as a gift.

There can be quite a few particulars when it comes to carrying and wearing a sword at an officer’s side.  A sword frog is a piece of leather used to hang the sword from the belt. Simultaneously, the frog offers protection to the uniform from the metal fasteners which connect the sword sling or sabre chain to the scabbard. It’s important to decide how the sword is to hang, and what style of frog you prefer. Sword frogs are all designed to allow a sword to hang appropriately at the wearer’s side, and many options options exist for how it’s worn as well as for its appearance.  Some are designed to create a diagonal tilt to the sword while supporting it vertically at the wearer’s side. There are frogs for both left and right-handers. All of them either securely lace up or buckle, without worry of a sword being dropped during activity.  Frogs are available in a variety of colors and styles...with some decorated with rivets, buckles and clips of brass and silver, and some come simply stated.  There are even universal frogs available which accommodate both pistols and daggers, swords and more.

During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Sam Browne lost his left arm...He continued on as a soldier, however he subsequently needed an extra belt crossing over his right shoulder to immobilize his primary belt and frog...Thus the Sam Browne Belt was invented.  To this day, the Marine Corps and law enforcement officers (whose belts may carry up to fifteen lbs. of equipment,) still use and refer to it as the “Sam Browne” or “Brownie” Belt.  The USMC uses a sling to fasten to the scabbard, but the US Army uses a chain.
The sword knot is a braided length of cord and tassel used to secure a soldier’s hand to the sword's hilt. Made of black leather, the saber knot is the original "dummy cord". When in battle, an officer would tie the cord around his wrist to keep from losing his saber if he suddenly needed his hands for other purposes.  Today’s saber knots are ornamental and can be acquired in black or brown, they were originally made from brown leather.                                                         
In the USMC, officers are required to wear the sword knot with their Mameluke.  The service sword knot is made of braided black leather or approved synthetic material with a simulated large knot, two sliding keepers and a hook and eye closure.  The sword is to be attached to the sword knot at all times.
The USMC’s method used to attach the knot to the sword is specific and differs from the US Army’s method, and for Army Officers, wearing the saber knot is optional.