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Thread: American Knife Co., Germany

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    American Knife Co., Germany


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    Hello,

    I recently acquired a knife I've been trying to find for over 2 years. I found it on Ebay and I believe it is the same model knife that was owned by my father and that he may have gotten in Alaska during WWII.

    There's a story why I don't have this knife, but that's another subject!

    I hoping there is someone out there who can help me identify this knife's age and tell me more about it. In general, it has these characteritics:

    The blade is marked: American Knife Co. Germany on one side. The other side says Sabre Solingen with one long/tall "S" for both words. There is a "131" below Sabre Solingen. These is a thin blood groove.

    The knife is missing it's tip, but would be 9 5/8" long with it.

    Its has an extended pewter pommel, a split stag handle secured with 4 brass rivets, red, white and black spacers and a brass hilt extending in both directions.

    I have some pix to show you if anyone is interested in helping me ID this knife. I'm now in the process of cleaning it up. It was in pretty bad shape when it arrived.

    Thank you,

    wwtbob@aol.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,365
    Sabre was a brand name used by Cole National of Cleveland, Ohio on a low-priced line of knives. Cole National used to own the KA-BAR trademark; that was used on their "best" line of knives. Monarch was their mid-grade brand, and Sabre was their low-end brand.

    At various times, they had the Sabre brand knives made in Solingen, Germany (your knife is one of these)...and also in Japan, and in the USA by Colonial knife company. The Japan versions are by far the most plentiful and most well known.


    As to when your knife was made, a guess would be mid to late 1960's. The Solingen made Sabre knives are relatively scarce.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    Knifeaholic,

    Thanks so much for your informative reply.

    So now I have to ask this: If in fact the knife I have in my possession was made in the mid-late 1960s, then it is not possible the knife my Dad had in the mid-late 40's is "exactly" the same knife. I have a distant photo of it hanging on a wicker backpack that was shot in 1946 when I was one year old.

    My Dad was USO Director in Alaska during WWII and it is where I believe he acquired the backpack and knife...although I could be wrong. He just could have easily gotten it in New England before the war.

    When I first saw this knife, the "America Knife Co, Germany" stampings run a bell...and the "Sabre Solingen" too.

    In your reply, you didn't address the American Knife Co. name as it relates to Cole National of Cleveland. Did I miss something here? You said my knife was made in Germany, so was it made for Cole National of Cleveland by a company named the American Knife Co. doing business in Germany and also stamping on the Sabre Solingen 131 marking?

    Do you know if knives just like this one were being produced this early and would have been available in the early-mid 40s? If not, who else (manufacturers) would have been making knives with all the characteristics of the one I have now.

    Most vintage knives are just around 9 inches long. I do remember my Dad's knife being longer than the usual knives I was seeing when I was a kid.

    Do you know when split bone handles knives stopped being made?

    The only quirky thing I sense...from the photo I have and my memories of handling my Dad's knife...as opposed to the one I just got...is that the pommel may have been different in shape. This one has the "dropped" end with the "crowned" top.

    I remember my Dad's knife as having a pommel with the dropped end, but having a swept up shape with no crown. The pix I have is from the top angle of the knife and seems to reinforce this memory. I don't see the crown edge in my pix.

    I'm very intent on trying to find another knife just like my Dad's. That's why I'm hoping to learn the name of the manufacturer who would have made my Dad's knife.

    When he died in '96, my stepbrother (we have been together since we were 10/11) decided to have a memorial for him. So, he took all his old saved fishing licenses and put them into a metal tackle box along with the knife and dropped it into a Canadian Lake around the year 2000. It took my brother another 5 years to confess to me he really knew where Dad's knife was...

    If you would give me your regular maling address I will send you good pix of this one. I'm a photographer.

    Thanks so much again for your quick, informative response.

    Bob
    wwtbob@aol.com
    Last edited by wwtbob; 03-20-2005 at 10:58 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Central Massachusetts
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    The question about American Knife Company is a good one - were they a stand-alone knife company that made their own knives plus knives on contract to Cole National? Or was "American Knife Company" just a "made up" name that was part of the Sabre brand name? I really have no idea.

    There were a lot of knife companies in Solingen that made hunting knives for export to the USA, both before and after WWII...many of these companies and brands are obscure and little documented.

    I would suggest repositng your questions on the Bernard Levine forum on this site for a personal answer by Bernard Levine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    Knifeaholic,

    Thanks again for the quick reply. I will do as you suggested re: The Levine forum.

    Would looking at pictures of this knife do any good?

    Bob

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