Camillus Army Post Exchange Resale Knife from WWII

Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
181
Howdy All,

I've been collecting my fair share of Camillus knives for some time, and have recently grown fond of the knives produced right before, during, and right after WWII. Unfortunately, there's one knife from the Camillus "knives that went to war" (page 34 of the 1946 catalog) advertisement that has been eluding me. It's titled the "Army Post Exchange Resale Knife" and would be equivalent to a modern day radio jack, with a spear blade with a bottle cap lifter:



I can't seem to find any useful information about it, it's size, how many were made, or even if it was in covered in bone or wood. So, two questions:

  • Do any of you out there in BladeForums-Camillus-subforum-land have one of these that you could post a photo of?
  • Do any of you have any more information on this knife?

Thanks for the help!

NOTE: this is a re-post of a similar thread that I posted incorrectly in the Traditionals sub-forum.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
910
I haven't run across it either. In fact the image in the 1946 catalog is the only one I've seen yet. It's not in any reference material that I've obtained so far. Also in looking for it I've noticed that all examples of, ( what Camillus called an equal ended knife body), by any other maker, those knives have at least three blades. I'm not sure that a knife maker would consider using that pattern knife body with only two blades both on the same end of the knife.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
181
I'm not sure that a knife maker would consider using that pattern knife body with only two blades both on the same end of the knife.

I agree in part, except that Camillus *did* have other 2-blade jack knives with the equal end body. On page 14 of the same 1946 catalog, there is this reference image of the "Heavy Equal End Jack":



So, from what I can gather, this Army PX Resale Knife seems like it would be similar to that "Heavy Equal End Jack", with a bottle cap lifter in place of the pen blade, and a bail added to the opposite end of the blade pivot.
 

Old Hunter

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
5,998
Looks like Utica - Kutmaster took the PX knife idea and put it into production; I picked this one up a few years ago - it has green Delrin handles and a Clip main - but follows the Camillus design pretty closely. I have no packaging, but guessed it as a late 1960's into the 1970's era knife. OH

IMG_22263.JPG
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
910
I stand corrected on the two blade equal ended pattern. Shows how conditioned I’ve become to Barlows and Easy Opens.
Back to the knife in the OP I still have never come across one in the flesh, a picture of another for sale, or one shown in a U.S. military knife reference, as of yet. Even in the 1960’s document from Camillus titled:
“Principal Items Delivered to Armed Forces During World War II From 1941 to 1946 By Camillus Cutlery Co.”
I can’t find it in there either.
 

acourvil

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
612
I have one of the Army Post Exchange resale knves. I'll try to take a good pic and post it if I can find the time. The only knife in that "Knives that went to War" collection that I don't have is one that I suspect was very common: the paring knife. But for the life of me I've never been able to find one.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
219
I thought cool, I have one of those BUT when I went to my pictures and looked closely at what I had labeled as an Army PX knife I immediately started noticing the differences. It has the four line tang stamp alright and the correct blade compliment BUT it also has a large glaring EZ Open notch, brass liners and brass pins, plus a tear drop lower end. So, now what the heck do I have? Pre-WWII? Post-WWII made up from all the surplus parts Camillus had already made up for the war effort? Your guess is as good as mine. BTW, the handles are one of the iterations of that black synthetic Camillus used starting in the 1930s and ending sometime in the 1960s. I think a good guess is the handles of a genuine Army PX knife also used those handles.

Camillus_EZOpen_4Line_Knife.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
181
I found it!

Wood (rosewood?) scales.
4-line stamp.
All steel construction.
Offset clasp/bail.

It's a quite interesting knife:

B0BD8F87-A1FE-433F-8588-6F7751388C09_zpslfln1ekl.jpg


EA4DB9EB-837D-463D-995F-88D46ACD9AF0_zpseapthpaf.jpg


F7E13AB8-0162-418C-B78E-0A9CE200D68A_zpsvubi83n7.jpg


7BFC9842-F107-47D3-B554-06C027C3970C_zpsoarlosso.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
910
Jordan, thanks for posting! I've only seen that type of clevis used on one other Camillus knife. It was a version of the knife called the Army Air Corp utility knife in the post war #46 catalog page 34. Supposedly the clevised version was for survival kits provided in case of water landings. In one Camillus document the model number is reported as "14J95A".
Really nice to finally see one of these knives.:thumbup:
I should back up, I also see this type clevis on the Army/Navy fishing knife shown on the same page of the 46 Catalog. Sure looks like the image of your knife on those pages has the more typical Camillus clevis. We're always subject to "artistic impression" when catalogs consist of drawings.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
181
Thanks! Yep. You're right. It's pretty uncommon to see a Camillus knife with this type of clevis.

All speculation of course, but I'm wondering if it was cheaper to produce this way during this period of time when Camillus was churning out millions of knives for the war. And, because it was a Post Exchange knife and wasn't going to be issued, perhaps having a cheaper clevis wasn't an issue.

There *are* quite a few knives from other brands during this era with a removable clevis, like the Kamp King, Clover Brand, and the Syracuse knife company. One interesting thing is that both Clover Brand and SKC were made by Camillus during this time period. So, perhaps there was a bit of cross-over.
 

MerryMadMonk

Platinum Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
2,818
For easy reference, here's the Army and Navy Air Corps Emergency Fishing Knife with similar clevis

CamillusWWIIFishKnife_zpsf5gorawk.jpg


and the Army Air Corps Utility Knife with rosewood handles

CamillusArmyAirCorpsUtility_zpsaoaxwm98.jpg
 

kingston73

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
918
Old thread but I’ll add to it since it’s such an unusual topic. I didn’t know when I bought it but I have one with some type of plastic scales:

7Xe0jkZ.jpg

7ROtfY8.jpg
 

eveled

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
4,160
Neat knife. I’m surprised Camillus never made that pattern with the stamped stainless US handles.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
910
Camillus did receive an initial order for these knives, (over 100,000) late in the summer of 1945. While they were collecting the special parts and tooling to start production the two bombs were dropped on Japan, the War ended and the Government canceled the order. Camillus first run of this type knife was made in 1949. Very small run from everything we can tell. They then produced the knife continuously from 1957 to 2006.
Of all the knives Camillus made the pattern 1760 had the most number produced with the model TL-29 type knife coming a close second.
Neat knife. I’m surprised Camillus never made that pattern with the stamped stainless US handles.
 
Top