Austrian Schwarzlose belt


#1

Hello,

most if not all Austrian-made Schwarzlose belts are made by a manufacturer coded “J.S.B.”.

Anyone knows who JSB is ?

Thanks in advance,

Cheers,

JFL


#2

JFL –

So far no one has suggested a name for the Austrian firm “JSB” who made your Schwarzlose belt, and I certainly don’t know this. But forgive me if I suggest a highly speculative approach that may be totally wrong, but nevertheless might just be worth while pursuing.

The presence of the Habsburg eagle on the belt indicates that it was made to an Austrian Government contract during the years before or during World War 1, ie between 1907 when the Schwarzlose was introduced, and 1918. Indeed, the “13” stamped on the belt may be for 1913.

During this period the official Austrian government small arms plant was the Munitionsfabrik Wöllersdorf, and although 8x50R ammunition was also bought from a few commercial firms, it is highly probable that most of the Schwarzlose ammunition for the Austrian army was made at Wöllersdorf, and loaded into its belts there.

It is also possible that Wöllersdorf placed contracts for the manufacture of ancillery items such as these machine gun belts with local firms. Such component firms often sprang up beside major manufacturers to meet their requirements.

The Wöllersdorf plant was situated just a few kilometres from the town of Wiener Neustadt (about 40km south of Vienna), and it occurred to me that the “W.n” mark on your belt may possibly be an abbreviation for Wiener Neustadt.

Perhaps one of our Austrian friends might follow this up? In any case, nothing would be lost (except the price of a postage stamp!) by writing to the Mayor’s office, or some local business organisation if you can locate one, to ask if they have any record of a leather/textile fabricator with the initials “JSB” who was active in the town in the years before WW1.

John E


#3

Hello John,

I guess your general thoughts point into the right direction!

Being Austrian, but not knowing anything about Austrian belt link manufacturers, I also thought of a small company near Wiener Neustadt.
This region south of Vienna was known as the “ammunition or armament triangle” at the time before and during WWI. In this area almost all of Austrias defence companies (e.g. Hirtenberger cartridge plant, Woellersdorf ammunition Plant, etc.) were located.

Some of my thoughts about this particulat belt and its markings:

  • W.n. and the Eagle is most likely an acceptance stamp.
  • 13 sure is 1913.
  • the manufacturer J.S.B. may as well be I.S.B. (the letter “I” was very often written as a “J” during those times).
  • I.S.B. most likely was not a code but indicates the initial letters of the name of the company and the city or village it was located in.

If ISB was a large and traditional company (even better would be a “k.u.k. court supplier”) we can possibly find it by searching the internet for any matching companies in that region. If it was a small local firm that supported a larger ammunition plant like Woellersdorf, it will get more difficult. In eitehr way the information can possibly be retrieved from the Austrian War Archive in Vienna, but this is a very time consuming and expensive undertaking, possibly not worth the trouble.

Anyway, I will contact my Austrian colleague Josef M. with that matter to see if he knows who I.S.B. was.

Best regards!
Chris


#4

Hello Russianammo,

Excellent, if anyone can help us solve this it is probably Josef M!

John E


#5

.
J.S.B. could be the brand of Josef Schulz Bohumin

just an idea - the label still exist in Czech Republic today ( a part of KuK Austria in that times).
They produce airgun pellets now

.

.


#6

I don’t think this is the JSB we are looking for. Its website states that the firm was started in Bohumin, Czech Republic, in 1991 by Josef Schulz, a former sports shooter who developed improved manufacturing machines for air gun pellets.

John E


#7

Well,

I do have an answer from Josef M., however, he only identified the acceptance stamp “Wn” as standing for Vienna (“Wien” in German). So this ammunition belt was accepted by the Viennese Arsenal.

Unfortunately the manufacturer code JSB still remains unknown …
Chris


#8

Thanks to all for your comments and research.

Indeed the hunt for id goes on …

Concerning the inspection stamp, here is a Schwarzlose belt again by JSB but inspected in 1918 in Budapest (Bp) :

To continue with the JSB marking, other markings are also available :
Here is the starter of a late WW1 Schwarzlose belt with fabric starter : in that case the marking is SJB ??

And to make things even more complicate, here is a post-WW1 Hungarian belt (presumably dated around 1940) with the manufacturer BJB : ???

One might wonder about the similarities of JSB, SJB and BJB …

Cheers,

JFL