Parker Frost had knives made by Schrade. It really helps to post a picture though. Please post one in this thread.
I picked up a knife the other day. A brown jigged bone trapper that has a Parker-Frost inlaid shield--Master blade is tang stamped on front Parker Frost USA and on the Back--1978-4 and Schrade. It is also etched with--MINK and a pic of one. Any info would truly be appreciated--Thanx
Parker Frost had knives made by Schrade. It really helps to post a picture though. Please post one in this thread.
It looks like the first pic,but can't see all of it. I am going to show my ignorance--Someone would need to tell me how to post a pic and if I even can since I'm a non-paying member.Thanx
are the differences between these and regular Schrades limited to handle material, blade etch, and tang stamp ? roland
If you are fairly saavy, it should not be to hard. Using Photobucket makes it pretty simple:
Once you get a free Photobucket account and get your JPG files into an album, it is fairly easy to COPY and PASTE the file with the IMG code from Photobucket. I like the way you can email your photos into your album, which can also be a "web page" for your pictures.
Posting pictures is a good "Initiation Exercise" everyone has to conquer. I recommend swallowing a couple live goldfish after the first successful picture post.
in about 3 weeks i will be able to answer my question above re:how do Parker Frost Schrades stack up against regular Schrades, because i just bought 3, all mint, jigged bone handles, made 1978, for $20 each. 2 are called "Little Bandit" a 3 7/8 in. single linerlock clip blade and the 3rd is called "Bison" a 3 15/16 in. stockman. my assumption is that for $20 i get a 29 yr. old, mint, bone handled Schrade knife. now that's a good deal ! and that the "Parker Frost" is just changes in cosmetics.
i'll post pics and comments when they arrive (about 3 weeks). roland
Schrade made knives for Parker-Frost. Before and after they broke up, Schrade made knives for Parker, and Schrade made knives for Frost. Schrade did not make all the knives sold by Parker, Frost, or Parker-Frost. I know that some were Imperials (before ISC), and perhaps some were Boker, Camillus, etc. The gents were not stuck on any one manufacturer, particularly when one was owed for product sent and they needed more.
I would think that the best bet, besides matching actual Schrade production patterns to knives sold by these three, would be one of Mr. Parker's "guides". Oops! Best bet is to ask Mr. Levine.
but the seller said "Parker Frost by Schrade". you mean i should be skeptical of how an ebay seller describes knife ? (rhetorical) here are 2 links to the closed auctions: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN:IT&ih=007 and http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN:IT&ih=007
i thought these might be a 194OT and an 8OT, but would like to be corrected if necessary. thanks, roland
The first knife appears to be the same pattern as an SC503 here in my hand. The nail nick is in a different position, but the rest of the blade and structure appears to be the same. The SC503 pattern is the 194OT.
The second knife does appear to be the same pattern as the 8OT here in my hand. The blades and structure appear the same.
Side by side comparison of the base patterns and SFOs in your hands is the best way to tell positively.
Going to Voyles 1990 book, Commemorative Knives, page 137, there is the set "Parker-Frost Eagle Brand Bones", 1977, 22 knives in 12 different patterns, red, brown or green bone, 2,000 serial numbered sets, also sold in non-serial numbered editions. He does state the manufacturer as Schrade, but does not list or illustrate the knives. In fact, on many of the Parker-Frost issues, he lists Parker-Frost as the manifacturer. As far as I know, the company was a merchant, not a manufacturer. I don't know this for fact.
below are pics of my 3 Parker-Frost Schrades. the 2 with "Little Bandit" racoon etch are a 194OT pattern and the "Bison" an 8OT. the mark side is stamped: Parker-Frost/stamp of eagle/U.S.A. and pile side: 1978-5/Schrade. all 3 have serial # 0828 on front bolster. 2 are green bone and the other has reddish brown bone on one side and v. dark brown on the other. there is v. slight blade play on one of the rascals and both the clip and sheepfoot of the bison. otherwise, fit, finish, sharpness and overall feel is v. good, just like an unused regular Schrade of that approximate era.
all 3 were the price of the opening bid ($19.99). no one else bid, so i assume collector interest is lower than for regular Schrades.
there is a little surface rusting so i think they are 1095.
i presume made in 1978, but what does 5 refer to ? (pics above of 1, 2, 3.)
i would like to hear more about how others view these and any additional history around the Parker-Frost/Schrade relationship. thanks. from Schradeville north, roland
Last edited by rprocter; 02-03-2008 at 07:50 PM.
Jim Parker was an antique knife trader/gun dealer who decided when the 1968 Gun Control Act restricted the sales of guns across state lines that knives were a good alternative. He was credit manager of Sherwin-Williams Paint in Chattanooga at the time. He would also buy modern knives, etc. and one of his customers was Jim Frost, who was working at an Army Ammunition Plant selling knives out of his lunchbox.
They formed a company in the early 70's, Parker was President of the National Knife Collectors Association and Frost was Executive director. Parker continued selling old knives on his own, Frost sold the new knives, and together their partnership sold commemorative knives starting in 1974 with a set call the Eagle set, which were made by Imperial/Schrade. Not sure which factory actually manufactured the knives, but they were paid for through Schrade. These were 4" 3 blade stock knives (Not 8OT's, as the are not "Old Timers"). They followed up with a three knife set called the Service Series, honoring the founding of the Army, Navy and Marines--these knives were crimped bolster knives made by Imperial. These sets were part of the rush to get knives out for the 1976 Bicentennial.
At that time W. R. Case & Sons knives were the only knives still being made in the US with bone handles, and there was a huge collector demand for US made bone handled knives. Parker and Frost went to Schrade with the idea, and they produced a series of bone handle knives on existing Schrade patterns. There were a few stags made in the stock pattern as well. They were introduced in 1978 and so dated on the back of the blade, and each knife was given a number as a pattern, Trappers might be a model 3, and would be numbered 1978-3. Stockmen were 1978-5 as I recall, etc. (not sure on the specific numbers as I'd doing this off the top of my head at the moment--should be obvious on the knives themselves though).
Each major pattern was available in green, red, or brown bone. Saw cut delrin black handles were also made.
Parker-Frost merged all of their businesses when this set was made, and each owned equally the vintage, modern, and commemorative business. As I recall Parker told me they had borrowed 3 million dollars to order the knives.
However, the Schrade mark was not supposed to be on the back of the tang--which was not greeted with any enthusiasm when it was discovered. (In fact it was a major crisis and it took quite a bit of talk to keep the lawyers out of it. Eventually they did come to some agreement and the knives were accepted).
Originally there were only to be four major distributors of the knives: Parker-Frost, Craig Matthews Cutlery, House of Knives in Louisville, KY, and Voyles Cutlery (yours truly). However when sales did not reach projections it was opened up to everyone and the market flooded. At one point the bone handled boxed knives could be bought for $8.00 each, despite the $25.00 retail. The same knife with a delrin handled could be had with a Schrade only tang mark at about half that amount.
This was supposed to be an ongoing production line to compete with Case on the collector market--but the Schrade name on the knife allowed the collectors to instantly compare the delrin handled Schrade with the Bone handled Parker-Frost and there was price resistance to the additional cost required for the bone handles and Parker-Frost mark up. In my opinion the Schrade mark on the knives was the kiss of death for the line at the time.
About this time Parker-Frost also started importing knives from Japan, which sold much better than the overpriced Parker-Frost/Schrade-made knives. (And the Japanese knives didn't have the name of the Japanese manufacturer on the back). Once the first few patterns from Japan hit Parker-Frost never looked back and at one point became the largest importer of knives in the US.
Parker and Frost went their own separate ways prior to 1980, with both continuing to import knives from Japan as Parker Cutlery Eagle Brand knives, and Frost who used the Falcon as his mark.
Frost continues today, and has brought knives in from nearly every major knife manufacturing company. He is a major supplier of the knives sold on TV sales channels--and has a huge facility alongside I-75 on the north side of Chattanooga, TN.
Parker went on to buy Cutlery World Stores, W. R. Case, as well as starting a factory in Jacksonville, Alabama which evolved into Bear & Son Cutlery today. Jim Parker passed away a few years ago, his son Buzz continues the family business today, importing Bulldog knives from Germany.
As far as my background as the source of this info is a quote from legendary gun writer Elmer Keith. "Hell, I was there." While still going to college in Atlanta in 1974-75 I made sales calls for Parker-Frost on their Eagle sets and Service series to Beck & Gregg Hardware. I moved to Chattanooga in 1977 to edit the NKCA magazine and learned much of what I know about knives, people, and life in general from Jim Parker. He is one of the few people who have passed on that I miss a little more every day. He left a huge gap in the knife world.
What a great overview Bruce, many thanks for sharing,like many collectors I've got those sets you mention and have always wondered exactly what the Schrade/Parker relationship was.One would assume the order to have' Schrade' on the back of those knives would have had to come from the highest levels... wily Albert or Henry and could not happen accidentally!Hoo Roo from Downunder.
Very interesting, Mr. Voyles. Thank you for posting.
Yes, Mr. Voyles, thank you for taking the time to give us (esp. relative new comers like myself) such a clear and interesting history lesson. your obvious compassion for your friend, Mr. Parker, adds a valuable insight.
is there a book you would recommend on Mr. Parker and his knives ? roland
That goes for me to.Very interesting, Mr. Voyles. Thank you for posting.
The Parker-Schrade series bears resemblence to the Schrade Tradesman Series, which was the commemorative series of five bone handled knives released in 1983. They continue to be collected with quite a bit of ethusiasm. I would be interested to see results of how well that series sold when released, in comparison to similar Schrades, or the Parker-Frost Eagle Brand Bones.
Thanks for the history Bruce.
Last edited by thawk; 11-08-2007 at 05:02 AM.
"Any idea how this stamping oversight occurred, and was "unnoticed during production"? You would have thought there would have been some "prototypes" put out for approval when they made the first blades. Or someone from Parker-Frost would have been around to see what was "coming off the production line", to see the stamps on finished product, before they made the entire run of knives. This, to me, is the most interesting piece of the history."
In the cutlery business in those days the prototype was typically unstamped or would have a Schrade blade in it, as they were one of a kinds (I have several unmarked tang knives that came straight out of the factory collection when the company closed for instance).
Chattanooga is a long way from Ellenville, NY, and Parker and Frost at the time was basically a five man operation. They had dealt with Schrade on several limited edition runs previously with no problem--so sending someone up to Ellenville to see a knife as it came off the end of the line was just not done then--or rarely done now. I've ordered special factory orders from Case, Queen, Parker-Edwards, Buck, and others when I was President of the American Blade Collectors Association and never saw an exact pre-production sample with the right tang mark, or ever went to the factory to be sure the knives were as ordered.
My personal opinion, and from what I gathered was the opinion of Parker at the time, is that some of the people at Schrade felt that bringing out a bone line was such a good idea that they were hedging their bets, figuring if Parker made a go of it then Schrade got the glory as well -- which was not what Parker had envisioned--they wanted their own, independent, American-made, bone handled knife line.
From the temperament of the knife world at that time, without the Schrade name on it the Parker plan stood a great chance of working--but with the Schrade name on it, allowing everyone to go find that same pattern in delrin by Schrade, it was the kiss of death. At that time there were few if any Schrade collectors. There were commemorative collectors who bought Schrade knives, but no exclusively Schrade collectors.
Looking back on it now my summation of the entire episode is Schade tried to be cute, maybe not actually going against the order but certainly taking advantage of something that was implied but unstated. For that they killed what was, at the time, a great idea. The also basically ended what had been a successful business working relationship with what had been a very good customer--and who would be one of the major players in the knife game in the coming years.
In those days I felt that Schrade viewed knife collectors as an odd curiosity.
I will never forget in 1977 in Dallas, Texas, sitting in then Schrade Sales Manager Bob "Deacon" Ernst's hotel room just prior to going out to dinner with Uncle Henry (my only dinner with him in fact) Ernst was asking my opinion about some knives, and remarked, "We at Schrade think lockbacks are a passing fancy."
Granted Schrade changed their tune, but they were far behind the curve when they did.
Also while I'm here wanted to pass along that I don't expect to have the Schrade price guide finished in time for debut at the SHOT show, but we will be having a major announcement there that should interest many Schrade collectors.
What an interesting pair of posts, Mr. Voyles. I had been told that you were working on a collectors' price guide and I'm anxious to see it. And whatever else you have cooking, ie the big announcement.
I like that line about Schrade seeing collectors as a curiousity.
I have noticed one other instance where the manufacturer put their mark on a Parker knife. It was a knife made in Japan that Star Sales provided.
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