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USN Mk1 Knife Manufacturers?


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#1 Stony

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:55 AM

Does anyone have a list of all the Mk1 Manufacturers during WWII?

#2 SKIPH

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:04 PM

Stony- Off the top of my head, Boker, Camillus, Colonial, Geneva Forge, Kabar, Pal, Robeson, and Western.  SKIP



#3 sactroop

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:29 PM

IMHO, I've grown to question any of the knives found often attributed to Navy MK1's that are not marked with branch of service and/or a Mark 1 identifier.  Hard to tell for sure as they could be the least documented U.S. military knife of WW2 per capita.



#4 dustin

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 02:50 PM

Solid and good question, this list cited by Skip is correct except Western. Sactroop's strategy of attribution is the best approach, however, there is a chain or genealogy that's gets kind of complicated and does include unmarked versions. I'm currently consolidating my data that I have obtained and will be including them in my Knives & Machetes chapter of my book, Volume Two. In the Navy section, I've chosen the Mark 1 to be the most detailed and highlighted aspect in that section. I have oodles of killer new information and images that is going to certainly extend everyone's knowledge on the subject of knives.



#5 SKIPH

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:52 PM

The reason I added Western was that they did offer a 5" knife known as the "SEABEE"., and it does resemble the other MK1s. I questioned it also, but  referred to Cole, and Silvey, to verify.  As far as an "issue" knife to USN personnel, as a MK1, who knows?   SKIP



#6 dustin

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:17 PM

Western is an inetersting company, I view them as a marketing mimic. US Government agencies did purchase from western but of their Patterns for advanced base re-sale and PX, essentially small lots here and there and by individuals. Interestingly, Western is never (or almost never) mentioned in government literature talking about edged tools as potential contractors or even making experimental samples. It is of my observation and opinion that it has been more of a built up Hoopla by collectors over the years that has given them the notoriety that they have, and sorry to say, unjustifiably so.  In the post war years their knives were seen in every outdoor or equivalent magazine making them a name brand that has been carrying on for decades.  

What Western did was copy and develop patterns that the government was purchasing in large numbers. They did not receive contracts for the 1219c/Mark 2 so they did the next best thing and design the G-46-8 to sell to service members, the same is true for the 9-inch machete (Bushmaster) and the same could be said with their L-71 Seebee which copied the pattern of the Mark 1. It is more accurate to say that they made knives to sell to US Military service members rather than make knives for the US Military.



#7 Stony

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 06:15 PM

 

Solid and good question, this list cited by Skip is correct except Western. Sactroop's strategy of attribution is the best approach, however, there is a chain or genealogy that's gets kind of complicated and does include unmarked versions. I'm currently consolidating my data that I have obtained and will be including them in my Knives & Machetes chapter of my book, Volume Two. In the Navy section, I've chosen the Mark 1 to be the most detailed and highlighted aspect in that section. I have oodles of killer new information and images that is going to certainly extend everyone's knowledge on the subject of knives.

 

Is Vol. 1 currently available? If not, when will both volumes be available? 



#8 SKIPH

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:05 AM

dustin- I like your information on the Western knives. I believe your opinion is spot on. Thinking about it,I suspect their unique handle design, may have kept their production costs just high enough above the other companies to knock them out of he contract loop.  But, they do remain in the mainstream of WW2 knives, in the fact that enough were produced that they are at least considered by many to be issue items, not just relegated to PX or civilian purchase.  SKIP



#9 dustin

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:51 AM

Well hold on, I didn't say they weren't  issue knives, in fact they were in many respects and they did play a part in the war effort.   I was pointing out that they didn't make knives under quantity contracts of US Government approved patterns. In another thread I wrote about different facets knives were circulated and how a commercial patterned knife could be an issue piece. Their issuance and distribution would be localized to the respective purchasing agency that initiated the requisition available regionally, but no more than many other types. Their distinct designs and variety have created an appeal making them more interesting in the eyes of enthusiasts over other manufacturers. Here is something interesting to think about, if you were to ask the average collector to name off knife manufacturers, Western would certainly be in the top 3 or 5, but yet they had no bigger impact than that of lets say Kinfolks, which they probably wouldn't even make the list. At least Kinfolks appears in various government documents. The funny thing is, its a popularity contest, sex sells, Western has that appeal. The L-71 is that goose in the line of ducks. 

 

Stony, Volume-One is at the publisher being processed. Haven't heard about an availability date yet. It was delayed pending the availability of new material, which has be disseminated and added to the volume. 



#10 ccyooper

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:56 AM

Was the Western parachutist knife (W31) a contract knife?



#11 dustin

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:49 AM

Some things are getting lost in translation here, if you note I said QUANTITY contracts, they did have limited quantity contracts or purchase orders from various government entities. The parachutist knife was a contracted item by the specific request of the USMC, the reported quantity was for 2,750 knives (noted by Trzaska), I view this as a Limited Quantity procurement. This is actually a very good example, the USMC appeared to have specific requirements that were then applied to this knife making it in essence a Government pattern knife hence the ricasso stamped USMC. All the other Western patterned knives were of their pattern design and purchased AS-IS by government purchasing agencies or offices. I would like to reiterate that there were literally thousands of purchasing bodies of the US Government, all over seen by the US Treasury Department. This where it gets kinky, the Treasury Department had offices of representatives of all military services that budgeted the whole war machine. Purchasing was decentralized to better serve the war effort from coast to coast. Everyone had to operate with in a budget, spending was not regulated under micro management. However, all these thousands of satellite purchasing offices only had to report spending to the Treasury Department if the single purchase was over $50,000 or more, accounting really only occurred at this level. This is why Western Cutlery only has three line items in the War Supply Contracts, the bulk of purchases to them were small lots here and there. I should have more accurately said Almost no government patterned knives, we can also include the floating life raft knife under USAAF drawings. So there are several acceptations, I was merely addressing the whole general picture. Surprisingly, their biggest purchase was for pocket knives very late in the war.



#12 sactroop

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:30 PM

Yes, the collectors community has a tendency to try and simplify matters.  If the Government requested a specific pattern knife and the quantities of items ordered generated a paper trail for specific contracts than we tend to go with the term "contract knife".  A lot of collectors, I believe for the sake of simplicity, tend to throw the rest into the "private purchase" or "PX" category.  like so many things, "God or the devil is in the details".

You could argue that the Western USMC parachutist knife has a lot in common with the Case V42.  Total quantities are similar and they are both specific purpose tools.  The Case V42 is much better documented and more desirable to the collectors community, you could say it's sexier too.



#13 sactroop

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:43 PM

Is Vol. 1 currently available? If not, when will both volumes be available? 

 

Stony, in the mean time you might want to subscribe to this thread.  There are a few of us waiting with bated breath.

 

http://www.usmilitar...equipment-book/



#14 SKIPH

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:24 PM

Good research and info!  SKIP



#15 sactroop

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 05:21 PM

It's interesting how a passion in one subject often requires us to study others.


Edited by sactroop, 16 November 2017 - 05:25 PM.


#16 robinb

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:51 PM

I am one of a very few people who have seen parts of Dustin's books. It's going to be a game changer. He has found more new information than anyone can guess.



#17 ccyooper

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:14 AM

Dustin, roger that....



#18 dustin

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 12:46 PM

I'm happy to get a sense of the enthisasm of the up and coming publications, it is appreciated. I'm quite certain nobody should be disappointed. Humbly, I think I'm more excited than anyone since this whole thing was a long time coming to finally get all this fodder in print. 

This thread has kind of stirred the pot a little, which is a good thing, it keeps things fresh. My whole point or objective was to inject a different perspective on things. Over time, we are conditioned to think a certain way then the wheels just spin in the mud. My knowledge has materialized differently, High Road-Low Round approach. What I've pain snakingly done with my related chapter on knives was create a whole new dimension. After evaluating much of the reference material out there on the subject, I took a giant lateral step out of that and created my own factual path or presentation. This will effectively kick the ball forward, however, its designed to be a parallel work to complement what already exists. Where I think my work greatly differs from other works is the abundance of wartime images illustrating the use of all these edge implements, 100's, even laboratory images, wartime displays, and experimental images. Bottom line, is that its new and fresh.



#19 SKIPH

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:28 PM

Sounds interesting, can't wait to see it!  SKIP



#20 Misfit 45

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:06 PM

Dustin,

Do you have a title in mind?

Marv




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