Invariably, someone will ask you where you acquired all your kit. Much of it is purchased from individuals or made at home. I am providing this list as a starting point for others who are seeking to build up thier impressions and need a quick start.
First of all, don’t overlook the obvious. There is a lot of good stuff you can acquire on craigslist, ebay, and etzy but be careful. They will sell you anything you are willing to buy and some of it is definately not period correct, durable, or nearly as nice as the ad says it is. Of course, you have to balance that against cost and sometimes we do make compromises. The following, however, are foolproof vendors who will take good care of you:
- JAS Townsends — By far, THE SOURCE for all your 18th Century needs (if you can afford them). Not only does Townsend sell the best stuff, they have the best service. Look at their site if only to see the free information and videos.
- Samson Historical — These guys are newcomers to the world of reenactment suttlers and they are great. Their offerings keep growing and they sell good stuff.
- GG Godwin — This is sort of the the Sears Roebuck of Revolutionary War Reenactment suttlers. They have everything. Sometimes its expensive but its top quality.
- Crazy Crow — Okay, their focus is no Mountain Men and Plains Indians but they do sell stuff for Colonial Reenactors and most of thier camp gear is exactly what you want. They also have those little things that make people beleive you have actually met a Lanape or Cherokee.
- Avalon Forge — These guys aren’t fancy but they have been around a long time and what they have is good. I bought my large tin kettles from them and they are the best brew kettles I have ever had, better than the modern stuff.
- MilitaryClothing.com — If you are just getting started and are crying after finding that you just can’t afford he basics from Townsends or Godwin, look at these guys. They are a cheap source for Colonial Shirts, breeches, trousers, and weskits. Its pretty basic but if you are just geting started you can build a basic set of small clothes (breeches, shirt, weskit, and socks) for less than a pair of breeches at Godwins.
- Sign of the Grey Horse — Need a period correct watch or a small something for your lady, this is the place. The 18th. Century was not without elegance and Kimberly excels at making elegant things.
- The Quartermaster General — These guys try to be all things to all folks. They have a broad scope Revolutionary War to Civil War.
- isultler (on eBay) — eBay is a tough place to find good reenacting supplies (caveat emptor) and that is especially true when dealing with international suppliers but this guy makes the best boots and shoes and the price is untouchable.
- Jean Alvarenga at John’s Shoe Repair –Take your period shoes to most cobblers and what you get back will look nothing like what you might wear in 1770. John is different. Most of his business is modern but he loves old shoes and will make your’s good. Whether its a new heel, sole, a stretch or just a good cleaning; I trust him to make my shoes look good the way I want.
- Keystone Homebrew — Every brewer has a favorite supplier for malt, hops, and all the “stuff” you need to brew good beer. These guys are mine. Its an easy and helpful place to shop. They also supply BARRELS, Copper-ware, and other items that non-brewing re-enactors may want to consider.
- Carl Giordano – Tinsmith — Carl made my artificial horizon and as best I can tell, he is one of the very few who can make a period correct tin one. He also has a great selection of containers, cups, candlesticks, and the like.