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1949 Camillus Stainless US Army 17-170A Prototype Knife

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Are these 2 knives ww2 era? One is a Kingston and the other is unmarked. I have another like the Kingston that says US Marine Corps. They all have brass on the bottom.

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The Kingston marked pocket knife is the second version made during WWII in 1945. The next knife looks like it has three blades. That would make it a commercial knife.made post WWII. What makes your Kingston the second version is the position of the screw driver. The first version, made in 1944-45 has the screw driver on the same side as the main blade. The second version, as you can see, has the screw driver opposite the main blade. Your Kingston is the Army knife. It does not have any marks on the scales. The USMC knife will say U.S. Marine Corps. on one side of the knife. Hope this helps.

Marv

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I have 2 of these knives, both are marked "US MARINE CORPS" on the side. One is marked Kingston on the loop and the other has no maker marking. I understand that the "US MARINE CORPS" marked knives are WW2. There are similar knives marked "US" on the side which are newer.


Semper Fi!

Sgt. BARney

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Yes, the US Marine Corps. marked pocket knives are WWII. Some are marked on the bail and some are not. Kingston made both the Army and Marine Corps. knives whether they are marked Kingston or not. Stevenson is the other maker of these WWII knives and they are marked US on the scales, one side or both, and "Stevenson" on the bail. All the WWII knives of this type have brass liners. The only (as far as I know) post war knife that has brass liners is marked "Ulster-48" on the bail. (clevis is the correct term) and I never know if it's bail or bail. I enjoy collecting these little knives.

Marv

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Yes, the US Marine Corps. marked pocket knives are WWII. Some are marked on the bail and some are not. Kingston made both the Army and Marine Corps. knives whether they are marked Kingston or not. Stevenson is the other maker of these WWII knives and they are marked US on the scales, one side or both, and "Stevenson" on the bail. All the WWII knives of this type have brass liners. The only (as far as I know) post war knife that has brass liners is marked "Ulster-48" on the bail. (clevis is the correct term) and I never know if it's bail or bail. I enjoy collecting these little knives.

Marv

The unmarked 3 blade knife I showed has brass liners right? That's why I thought it was ww2 but it might not be if it only has 3 blades?

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The unmarked 3 blade knife I showed has brass liners right? That's why I thought it was ww2 but it might not be if it only has 3 blades?

 

That is correct. It is not military.

Marv

 

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The three blade knife may be one that was reassembled from military parts. I've run across a few knives that have been thru that. A close look at the individual parts may provide clues. The WW2 knives were made with blades that were high carbon steel. The all stainless steal knives don't happen till the late 1950's. The studs on the screw driver blades change at different time periods. There are differences in the can openers. The punches/awls have differences in their specific shapes at different times and different manufactures. Even the main blade has differences in there shapes, and nail nicks.

Also some knives have "crinked" blades, blades that have slight but distinct bends in them, to fit together better when the knife is closed.

If one is going to collect these knives it's a good idea to study the details. Many of these have been thru repairs over the years, and the parts don't always match the original examples.

Camillus's 1949 knife did have brass spaces, the only one they made that did.


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The three blade knife may be one that was reassembled from military parts. I've run across a few knives that have been thru that. A close look at the individual parts may provide clues. The WW2 knives were made with blades that were high carbon steel. The all stainless steal knives don't happen till the late 1950's. The studs on the screw driver blades change at different time periods. There are differences in the can openers. The punches/awls have differences in their specific shapes at different times and different manufactures. Even the main blade has differences in there shapes, and nail nicks.

Also some knives have "crinked" blades, blades that have slight but distinct bends in them, to fit together better when the knife is closed.

If one is going to collect these knives it's a good idea to study the details. Many of these have been thru repairs over the years, and the parts don't always match the original examples.

Camillus's 1949 knife did have brass spaces, the only one they made that did.

 

Thanks sactroop. While I knew that the different crinked blades were the focus of collectors, I did not know why. I'll have to check my stash and see what differences I might find. Just for the record, I knew that the Camillus 1949 pocket knife had brass liners, but it is so rare that for most of us, it simply does not exist. I know of only one person that has one and he's on this forum every once and a while (I forgot who it is). Do a search and find the thread!

Marv

 

I just did, it's Thorin6

 

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Marv, you now know two. But mine isn't nearly as pretty. Still it has most of the main blade along with the name and date. The rest of the knife is good and correct. I'd call it a place holder except I never imagined I'd run across this one let alone another. Who knows maybe I'll stumble over a 1962 and a 2006 too.


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I guess that means there are eight more 1949s out there to find.

Marv

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I've never heard a specific number for the 1949's. I remember that once Tom Williams speculated that the total numbers of 1949's produced might have been greater than the 1962's. That being said I've at least seen a few offerings for 1962's. My running across the 1949 was just the luck of being in the right place at the right time.


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After I found my 1949 I emailed Tom Williams and received an comment from Frank Tzraska. Based on their comments (Tom said he had seen only three or four in the past 30 years; Frank said he had only seen one for sale and he bought it) and I only know of two that have been for sale on ebay in the past 10 years or so, I would hazard a guess that there are 10 or so of them; Tom: 4 Frank 1: me: 1 and sactroop: 1 equals 7 plus 2 on ebay equals 9 that I can count. There may be a few more but I still suspect there are less 1949s than 1962s.

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I would have posted this earlier, but I had to get it back from Bigfoot. :)

 

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This is the first production steel pocket knife that Camillus made; the 1949 dated ones are more of a test/educational knife to show that they could make the knife, but the first production run was in 1957. Shows some sharpening, but all blades in good condition, with nice snap. Bail is nice and unmessed with. Picked up at an antique mall in a town nearby as I was returning from giving classes in another town and just need a break to walk around.

Before this the earliest production steel knife I found was dated 1959.

 

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Trying to remember if the 58's are the "transitional" ones where some have the full scale on the backside and some have the cutout for the awls nail nick. Nice find I've only put my hands on one whole 1957 Camillus and the owner and I couldn't come close to agreeing on it's value. I may have a couple of potential 57's with broken parts, of course all of them are missing their main blade.


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Nice knife! Even though I don't collect the Camillus knives, I definitely would pick up a "57".

Marv

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I just noticed a 1957 on ebay for a mere $695. plus shipping! 332251169694 Better jump on it!

Marv

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I have to admit that is a much nicer knife blade than on mine, but then I paid $30 for mine. $695 is a little to rich for me.


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I've got a few of these, and I've seen them dated into the 2000s. They were standard issue in the SRU-21P Aviation Survival Vest when I was in army aviation. Are they still in production?


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Colonial is marketing one. I don't know who is making them. Queen Cutlery was producing the ones for Ontario, but the knife was discontinued a little while ago. There are imports still being made marketed under different names. There's a version of the knife being marketed by the new Camillus.


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I carried one of the steel pocket knives for over 15 years, but it went airborne somewhere over the Normandy drop zone at Fort Bragg. Carried a Buck Light from then on, but picked up a couple of the steel knives (in the Combat Engineers we called them demo knives) here and there. I don't know if the Military is still issuing them now.


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