1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Your oldest Camillus fixed blade?

Discussion in 'Camillus Collector's Forum' started by Codger_64, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Surely someone here collects old Camillus/Kastor fixed blades. What is your oldest blade?

    I think these are my oldest made at Camillus, sometime in the 1930's. A “Special Factory Order”, they were made for P.G. Franz, buyer for F.W.Woolworths (originator of "five-and-ten-cent" stores) and stamped with their "KENT / N.Y. City / U.S.A." mark. Albert M. Baer was put in charge of sales in 1930. From what I have been able to learn, this small inexpensive hunting knife was made between 1931 and 1939. The most expensive items Woolworths sold in the stores until that time were 10 cents in the east, and 15 cents in the west. Then with Camillus knives sold to them by Baer, in 1932 they rocked the stock market by announcing goods for 20 cents!

    When the knives hit the stores, they were a sensation. The sales were enormous. You could go and count how many they sold per hour. In fact, I did just that, and we started to mechanize the Camillus factory as a result of the Woolworth order.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These rosewood handled Kent "Sportsman's Knife" is plain ground and full tanged with two brass pins through the handle scales. They are 7 1/2" long with 4" blades.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  2. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    My next oldest Camillus made fixed blade is, coincidentally, a #5559 "Sportsman Krome Plate" which Tom Williams tells us was introduced in 1939. These have bone handle scales and are riveted instead of pinned.

    [​IMG]

    I have two of these also, but they have different bone jigging.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Now my oldest Adolph Kastor & Bros. knife is a copy of the Marbles Fish Knife. One is marked " W.H. Morley & Sons / Germany"

    [​IMG]

    The other is marked "A.W. Wadsworth & Son / Germany"

    [​IMG]

    Both date, I believe, from prior to 1915 and were made in the Germania Cutlery Works in Ohligs, Germany.
     
  4. Phil Gibbs

    Phil Gibbs Cutlery Student Platinum Member

    Nov 11, 1998
    Beautiful examples Codger! :thumbup:
    Probably some of the nicest I have seen.

    Thank you so very much for sharing them with us!
     
  5. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Thanks Phil. I like looking at (and owning and handling) the blades that made Camillus the "Quiet Giant" it became. My best examples to date have been found in the SFO genre which is largely ignored by collectors.

    Here are a few more patterns I have run across which were made for the Kastors in Germany or Nixdorf Bohemia/Austria/Mikulasovice, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic).

    By way of explanation,
    W.H. Morley and A.W. Wadsworth were both brandings and shell companies owned by the Kastors to facilitate larger importation quotas and provide Anglicised names for their imported knives (Kastor was originally Koester in Germany). All together, Adolph Kastor & Brothers (Nathan, Sigmund and August) became the nation's largest importer of knives.

    The Kastors had their own factory in Solingen-Ohligs , Germany to produce pocket knives, but they still had other folding and fixed blades made and marked for them by other German cutleries in and around Solingen. Nathan Kastor was in charge of this factory, Germania Cutlery Works, and was also the Kastor's buyer for cutlery from the area and also from Nixdorf.

    [​IMG]

    This is a list of Nixdorf culeries active in 1928:
    Jakob Dittrich
    Joh. Edward Dittrich
    Jos. Drasche & Sohn (at Wolmsdorf)
    Franz Frenzel
    H. Knoth
    Julius Pilz Sohne
    Ig. Rosler's Nach
    Ig. Rosler's Sohne

    Of these, Ignaz Rosler's Nachfolgerei (successors) is still in business, now called Mikov.

    A.W. Wadsworth & Sons - Czechoslovakia
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010

Share This Page