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Thread: Camillus Tang stamps and dates

  1. #21

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  2. #22
    I've recently become interested in the tang stamps used by Camillus on their contract lines. Two early ones that I've come onto lately are the Kwik Kut and High Carbon Steel markings. The Kwik Kut appears to be from the early 20's and the High Carbon Steel from circa mid-30's. Both are stampings used on the Sears and Montgomery Wards contract knives. My goal now is to try and aquire a respectable example of all the different contract knives made by Camillus over the years but I doubt that I'll live that long. Anyway, I've started compiling a list from the standard issue knife guides. Any oddballs you folks might know of, please post them and I'll add them to the list. It'll be interesting to see just how many I can come up with.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitebuffalo2 View Post
    Anyway, I've started compiling a list from the standard issue knife guides. Any oddballs you folks might know of, please post them and I'll add them to the list. It'll be interesting to see just how many I can come up with.
    The 300 series Buck knives c.1971-1998

  4. #24
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    The "High Carbon Steel" stamping was used on the Sears knives and Camillus had a sample in the factory collection from 1940. Montgomery-Wards knives used the "Power-Kraft" brand. When I started working at Camillus in 1974 that was near the end of production of M-W knives.

    Camillus began making BUCK knives around 1968 (the earliest record that I located was July,1968). Prior to this time, Schrade was making the BUCK brand.

    Other contract brands made by Camillus include: LIPIC, Saunders, Newton, Robeson, Crosman, Moore-Maker, KABAR, Channel-Lock, New Britian, Western, etc., etc., etc. Camillus also made knife parts for other companies like Utica, Colonel Coon, blades for an electric carving knife-the company name I can not remember and many others including blades for a throwing knife.

    Tom Williams

  5. #25
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    Thanks Tom. Nice information. Did Camillus make Western Boulder, or Western States stamped knives?

  6. #26
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    This one just needs a bump to keep at the top, It would make a great sticky. I've used this thread a dozen times already.

  7. #27
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    I used it yesterday to find the date of a model 8 that a guy at work was given. He was surprised that I could tell him so fast. I also showed him the way to IRV's site for more info.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMCO View Post
    The "High Carbon Steel" stamping was used on the Sears knives and Camillus had a sample in the factory collection from 1940. Montgomery-Wards knives used the "Power-Kraft" brand. When I started working at Camillus in 1974 that was near the end of production of M-W knives.

    Camillus began making BUCK knives around 1968 (the earliest record that I located was July,1968). Prior to this time, Schrade was making the BUCK brand.

    Other contract brands made by Camillus include: LIPIC, Saunders, Newton, Robeson, Crosman, Moore-Maker, KABAR, Channel-Lock, New Britian, Western, etc., etc., etc. Camillus also made knife parts for other companies like Utica, Colonel Coon, blades for an electric carving knife-the company name I can not remember and many others including blades for a throwing knife.

    Tom Williams
    Camco, I would love to see any records you may have recording the history of Camillus and linking it to Buck in the late '60s. Every record I have found says Camillus didn't start making contracted Buck knives until '71. Can you send me anything recording this to my email address. [email protected]

  9. #29
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    Camillus started making BUCK knives in the late 1960's. I located the manufacturing record (S-Card #S-2357) that indicates that Camillus made 36,000 pieces of BUCK model #305 on 8-20-68. The S-Card was used by Camillus from the early years through 1988 and each card contains the pattern number, dies, materials, finish, etching, tang stamp, etc. Some later cards have all the specifications on a knife, while some of the earlier cards are less complete.
    Tom Williams

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMCO View Post
    Camillus started making BUCK knives in the late 1960's. I located the manufacturing record (S-Card #S-2357) that indicates that Camillus made 36,000 pieces of BUCK model #305 on 8-20-68. The S-Card was used by Camillus from the early years through 1988 and each card contains the pattern number, dies, materials, finish, etching, tang stamp, etc. Some later cards have all the specifications on a knife, while some of the earlier cards are less complete.
    Tom Williams
    Tom,
    How can I get a copy of those cards? I have an extensive list of records that have the knives being made in 1971. If there is info out there that I don't have I would love to get it. There are a few of us Buck 300series collectors that reference this material regularly. Maybe the info I have is when they were available. Buck was contracting with Schrade from 1966 through '71. It would be a great topic of conversation among the 300 collectors. Can you get me a copy of those cards?

  11. #31
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    Tom,
    Now that you mentioned the model #(305) I went back to reference my lists and your right. I have the 305 being made by Camillus from '68-71 in that particular knife format, that being
    Model #, marker, Blade stamp, spacers, nail nick, Escutcheon, grind, bolster, year of manufacture, handle pins, and important information.

    305, CC, BUCK/Made In/USA, Brass Spacer, 2- BR Brass Long 1, Ellipse, Flat, Attached, 68-'71, Handle Pins, No Model Number, Spacer, LG. EZ Open Notch


    Hope that makes sense.

  12. #32
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    I have a rigging knife with a tang stamp that says Camillus over Stainless, anybody know the years they used this stamp.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by edbeau View Post
    I used it yesterday to find the date of a model 8 that a guy at work was given. He was surprised that I could tell him so fast.
    This table can also help:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...mc&output=html

  14. #34
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    thawk,
    Camillus did make several "WEST-CUT" brand knives for Western Cutlery in 1965-66. These were folding knives that included models #331, #332, #333, 334, #335 and #336. I also remember that Camillus made a standard Barlow and Daddy Barlow in the last years that the company was in operation. I believe that they were "WESTMARK" brand and they may have been made for Smoky Mountain Knife Works. Several years ago I repaired both of these models in my knife shop. Phil Gibbs may remember these knives as to when they were made.
    When I started working for Camillus in 1974 the company was selling several fixed blade knives that were made by Western Cutlery Co. They were leather handle hunting knives-models #1006, #1007 and #1008. They came with Western's own handmade leather sheath with the acorn/leaf pattern. I was really impressed by these knives and I carried one of the small models for many years. I still have that knife somewhere.
    During the September 2007 auction at Camillus I purchased all the dies and molds that were used for making the Western leather sheaths. A collector contacted me several years before Camillus closed and asked me to look for them. Camillus had acquired them at the Western auction in 1991 when the Western trademark was purchased. I bought them at the auction and my friend Tom Liggett helped me load them in the truck. I took them home along with several hundred pounds of miscellaneous Western items and packed the leather dies and cutters, along with some Western blade blanks, onto a pallet. I took the pallet to Yellow Freight and had everything shipped to the Western collector. He has all equipment required to reproduce Western sheaths.
    I was always impressed by the knives that Western made. My mother knew Harvey Platts and she would see him at the trade shows. He came to the Camillus factory on several occassions. Camillus made knives for Western and Western made knives for Camillus. There were closer ties between competing knife companies that the general public never knew about.
    Tom Williams

  15. #35
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    Thanks Tom, for all of your information.

  16. #36
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    Westmark!!!! Here are some pictures of the ones I have. There were three fixed blades made the 701, 702 and 703. I have a 701 and two 702's but no 703.






  17. #37
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    Vit_213, I also did use your table to date the knife. Thanks

  18. #38
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    Tom mentioned the Western sheaths and I wanted to post a picture of the sheaths. The one on the left is the one Tom called the the acorn/leaf pattern and the one on the right is the standard one. The boot knife used a different basket weave pattern.




  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by acourvil View Post
    While we know that Camillus used numerous tang stamps through the years, that it is very hard to date a Camillus knife because tang stamps were frequently changed and sometimes old blades with early stamps were used, I thought it might be of interest to have an illustrated listing of Camillus tang stamps with approximate dates that they were used. So here's a start at that; if you see errors or have other comments, let me know and I will edit as appropriate. With one exception, these all came from electrician's knives (i.e., TL-29 or signal corp. style knives). Except for the first two, which are based on information from this forum, the date references are based on Goins Encyclopedia

    Camillus tang markings:

    1960-1976
    Acourvil,

    I recently purchased a TL-29 that was "dated as" (i.e. sold to me as) WWII period. However, the tang stamp on my knife most closely matches the photo you posted, circa 1960-1976. So I guess I have two questions.

    1) Even though my knife's tang stamp does not match the pictures you posted of Camillus tang stamps (those from the 1940s), it possible that my knife really was produced circa WWII?
    2) How long did Camillus produce the TL-29?

    It would be a real shame if my "WWII era" knife was misrepresented by the seller. But I suppose this buyer should have done some of her own research before purchasing.. Honestly, I didn't know all this knife forging/misrepresenting/etc was so prevalent!

    I'd appreciate any help I can get! Thank you!

    Annabell

  20. #40
    The best way to get some reliable opinions would be to post some good pictures (maybe start a new thread) and let the folks who frequent this forum (and maybe the Bernard Levine forum, too) have a look. But let me try to give you some good pointers. First, Codger_64 provided some great info on electrician's knives in this thread; there are some great pictures of TL-29 knives in this thread.

    As far as some direct answers to your questions:

    (1) There are a lot of knives that are misrepresented as being older than they really are, especially on auction sites. If the tang stamp is the same as the one shown above, it is very unlikely that it is a WWII era knife. It is more likely that a knife with a tang stamp used earlier might have sat around and then gotten used later than it is that a tang stamp identified from a later time was used earlier than it's reported first use.

    (2) I believe that Camillus made electrician's knives before the military spec. existed. The earlier signal corp version of the electrician's knife was being produced at least as early as 1917-1918; the later version of the TL-29 was prevalent in the 1930s, maybe as early as 1929. Camillus produced the TL-29 from when the spec was first released pretty much until it shut it's doors (not sure when the last military contract was, but they made the pattern commercially).

    Hope that's helpful.
    Last edited by acourvil; 07-31-2012 at 06:45 PM.

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