Camillus Tang stamps and dates

Discussion in 'Camillus Collector's Forum' started by acourvil, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. coondog108

    coondog108

    59
    May 24, 2007
    This is a great link.
     
  2. whitebuffalo2

    whitebuffalo2

    101
    Jul 10, 2010
    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. :D 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. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    The 300 series Buck knives c.1971-1998
     
  4. CAMCO

    CAMCO Moderator Moderator

    539
    Dec 29, 1999
    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. thawk

    thawk

    Oct 28, 2006
    Thanks Tom. Nice information. Did Camillus make Western Boulder, or Western States stamped knives?
     
  6. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    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. edbeau

    edbeau

    Jan 20, 2006
    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. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    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. CAMCO

    CAMCO Moderator Moderator

    539
    Dec 29, 1999
    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. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    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?:D
     
  11. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    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. mbjannusch

    mbjannusch

    Apr 1, 2010
    I have a rigging knife with a tang stamp that says Camillus over Stainless, anybody know the years they used this stamp.
     
  13. Vit_213

    Vit_213

    715
    Feb 4, 2011
  14. CAMCO

    CAMCO Moderator Moderator

    539
    Dec 29, 1999
    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. thawk

    thawk

    Oct 28, 2006
    Thanks Tom, for all of your information.
     
  16. edbeau

    edbeau

    Jan 20, 2006
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. edbeau

    edbeau

    Jan 20, 2006
    Vit_213, I also did use your table to date the knife. Thanks
     
  18. edbeau

    edbeau

    Jan 20, 2006
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. annabell

    annabell

    20
    Jul 26, 2012
    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! :grumpy:

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

    Annabell
     
  20. acourvil

    acourvil Gold Member Gold Member

    611
    Dec 2, 2006
    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: Jul 31, 2012

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