Mills Equipment Company

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by General Melchett, Oct 2, 2007.

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  1. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    Bit of a webbing spotters question.

    When the army started to use cotton webbing (P08) the contract was given to the Mills Equipment Company (MECo) and Martin Wright & Sons (MW&S).

    Others maufactured as wartime dictated but MECo and MW&S were the main.

    My question is whatever happend to both of these companies and when did they cease production? The latest piece I have is some MECo from 1979 and MW&S from 1987.

  2. Wasn't a lot manufactured by Compton Webb? I always thought this was the origin of the term webbing as it doesn't look much like a web....

    They've been going since 1875:
  3. Good question Melchy, never gave the stuff a second thought when it had to be worn, but now in my dotage sentimentality has got me thinking. An entire industry (now probably depleted) made mundane stuff like webbing, diggers, mess tins, and all the gubbins that was non-glamorous but essential. I will watc tis thread with interest.
  4. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    No, the idea for cotton webbing (derived from the way it was woven) was an idea from a US Officer called Mills.

    I believe in the US it was called Mills Equipment and here MECo.

    Traditionally we had used leather but it was found to impractical and looped bandoliers caused corrosion to brass cartridges. Webbing was trialled and found to be more suitable.

    As I mentioned MECo and MW&S were given initial contracts for manufacture and MECo developed/designed all the webbing from P08 through to P58. Plus it's own designs for oficers purchase and sets for the Belgium army circa 1916 IIRC.

    MECo seemed to fade away with the introduction of PLCE although I think MWS produced it. Will have to look on some early PLCE stuff.
  5. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    I did find J&S Frankln. Who I know make some kit. Stunning website! erm no... they were formed in 1946 and I've not seen anything to say they bought MECo.
  6. A very good point, think of all the destitute families of former blanco, button stick and puttee manufacturers. Surely the MOD should be placing orders with these companies if they are still in existence instead of buying (or not buying) NVG, and decent ammo?