Colonial Knife Co Providence R.I.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by B.Mauser, May 6, 2016.

  1. 5K Qs

    5K Qs Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2014
    Mr. Mauser, my first pocket knife was a Colonial Forest Master that I think I got around 1960 back on the dairy farm on which I was raised. Here's a fairly current picture of it:
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    Not the original bail, and one of the backsprings is bowed from youthful prying indiscretions or from getting run over by a tractor (or both), but still serviceable after 55+ years!

    I don't remember exactly when I got it. I'd guess I was 8 or 9, which would be in 1960 or 1961, but I also think I remember that my younger brothers got knives on their 10th birthdays, which would have been December 1961 for me. Can you tell anything about the age of my knife from the photo??

    I used the heck out of my Forest-Master until I went off to college in 1969, and from then until January of 2014 I didn't carry a pocket knife most days. Since getting re-interested in knives a couple of years ago, I've found that I have a "soft spot" for Colonials and Imperials because that's what everybody in my area carried when I was a kid. Here are some other Colonials I've picked up here and there.

    A Swiss Army Knife version that's basically my Forest-Master in different covers, with a corkscrew:
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    An electrician's knife I picked up at a gun & knife show:
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    a small Colonial jack:
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    and a wireframe Colonial with bottle-opener:
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    - GT
     
  2. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Here's an example of my Imperial/Colonial confusion: upper left is an Imperial Matterhorn, lower right a Colonial Mountain Guide.
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    The Barlow is a Ranger which I'm pretty sure is a Colonial, with a patented snap-on solid bolster. Looks like the same deal on the stockman.
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    This is your basic paper doll-handled Colonial. I like this one; I'll have to get it rehandled someday.
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    I bought this one without handles at the flea market probably in the early '70s. Epoxied mahogany, as I recall.
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    It has the old curved stamp.
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    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  3. edbeau

    edbeau

    Jan 20, 2006
    Ranger was a line of Imperial Knives
     
  4. deltaboy

    deltaboy

    Jul 6, 2014
    I have a tiny colonial stockman that had never been sharpened till I got it off the bay 6 years ago. It is so small I never carry it.
     
  5. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    oops.
    The Colonial stockman has the same patent number on it as the Ranger Barlow (3,317,996), but then they always used the same shell handles too.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  6. Brumby53

    Brumby53

    331
    Jun 3, 2014
    ..............
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  7. B.Mauser

    B.Mauser

    Jul 22, 2011
    I had a crazy couple days and couldn't make it back to this thread until now. Its great to see the new posts and everyone's pictures. Keep them coming!







    Very nice dog leg jack Gevonovich. Great picture too. Thanks for coming back and sharing it.







    Hello GT. Nice old colonials you have there. Thanks for sharing them. Something I really like about the Colonial Swiss army style knives is the bail. They copied pretty much everything else but stuck with the old school bail. Neat.

    I enjoyed hearing how much you used your Forest Master. So cool that you still have it. And I know what you mean about carrying an old Colonial or Imperial. It feels right.

    Most Colonials are pretty hard to date, impossible even with some. Colonial didn't keep any records of their tang stamps. The only one known for sure is the curved stamps were used from 1926 to 1938.

    I have been trying for years to figure out the Forest Masters. But I have some big gaps that I just dont know. I have found out the years of some models by finding new in the package Forest Masters that say the year they were made on the package.

    But yours is in one of the gaps I dont know. I believe yours is one of the earliest of the black stag models but I dont know when it started so i cant give you an accurate date.

    One of the differences in the black stag models that I have identified so far is the bail. The older models had a little bigger, rounder bail. The ones made closer to 1971 had a smaller bail. The older black stags also has silver steel liners and somewhere closer to 71 the liners went to a brass color.


    Here is a picture showing the different bails.

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    I have always guessed that your model of Forest Master came out in the early to mid 60's.


    In this picture, your Forest Master is number 3.

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    Number 1 was made from 1934 to 1938.

    Number 2 was made from 1939 to ?? (I guessed that date to be somewhere in the 60's .)

    Number 3 was made from ? (Guessed somewhere in the 60's) to 1972.

    Number 4 was made from 1973 to ?

    Number 5 was made from ? ( mid to late 70's ) to ?


    Sounds like you are pretty sure you've had yours since 1960 or 61. So you are teaching me something too. It sounds like the black stag went back as far as 1960 if not into the 50s!

    I wish I had more information for you GT. Hopefully someday I will.






    Nice collection scrteened door. Yes, they are all Colonials. Neat old fish knife with replacement wood handles. Can you imagine how many people have used that since in was made in 1920 or 1930?

    The Stockman you have is a line by Colonial called Anvil knives. It was one of their attempts to put out a nicer line of knives. They were designed for Colonial by students at the Rhode Island School Of Design. Anvils first year of production was 1972. It came in 3 sizes, small, medium and large and was available in 2 colors, brown or white. Its a great knife!


    The paper doll knife you mentioned is called a shell knife. They would make the knife without handles, it was called the skeleton. Then in another area they assembled the handles. Then they came together and added the handles to the skeletons. They could use the same skeletons with different handles and produce a cheaper knife faster. Unfortunately they tend to come loose, wobble around and also break quite a bit. But as you mentioned, they turn out great when you re handle them.


    As for those Swiss army style knives you have from both Colonial and Imperial, its not so confusing once you realize a few things.


    Both the Paolantonios (Colonial) and the Mirandos (Imperial) were huge Italian family's who were cutlers in Italy and emigrated to America to start a family knife business.

    Both businesses were in the same city, Providence R.I.

    The 2 family's were friends. They shared ideas and helped each other. There were Paolantonios that worked at Imperial and Mirandos that worked at Colonial. That connection lasted thru many generations at both knife factory's and they have had some similar knives since the 1920's.

    They each had some unique knives but there were always similarity's between the 2 company's.


    Here is an example from my collection. These were made in 1920-1930. The one on the top is an Imperial and the one on the bottom a Colonial. I have others too.




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    The Ranger is definitely a Colonial Knife, not an Imperial. Imperial had a knife very similar to Ranger knives, it was called Frontier.

    Here is a Colonial catalog for the Ranger line of knives and a couple ranger advertisements.

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    Nice knives Brumby. Your Rangers are definitely Colonials. They are both the model #933, 3 Blade Stockman. They were made in black, white and yellow. Looks like you need a yellow one. :D

    And I would love to see your customized Colonials!

    I have a couple in great shape with broken handles I am saving to get custom handles put on.

    I have one already, A Colonial Toothpick with the handles replaced with Micarta. Its really makes it nice, adds some weight and makes it very solid. Great knife. Here it is.

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    In 1998 the original Colonial Knife Company went out of business. In 2002 or 2003 Steve Paolantonio, one of the grandsons who worked at Colonial, started a company called Colonial Knife Corp.

    In my opinion he wanted consumers to think it was the same company. But there was one big difference. His knives were made in China. As was your E2. But yes, it was made in 2008.

    After a while of struggling the new Colonial secured a 4.5 million dollar contract to supply a switchblade to the US Military to issue to soldiers who parachute. Its made in the USA. After that he started bringing out more USA made models for the public. He also got a big contract with Girl Scouts of America for scout knives. So these days, some of their stuff is USA, some China. I think the USA made knives look pretty good. I wouldn't mind trying a few out but I just like the older stuff so much more. So that's what I spend my money on. I usually have a couple old Colonials a week show up in the mail.

    Here is a newspaper article that talks about the new Colonial Knife Corp.

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    The new Colonial has a website at colonialknifecorp.com
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
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  8. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    BMauser, this is a great thread thanks to your detailed knowledge. I always felt there had to be some connection between Colonial and Imperial; nice to know what it is.
     
  9. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Only a couple Colonial pocket knives in my collection...

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    jux t and Fodderwing like this.
  10. T. Erdelyi

    T. Erdelyi Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    How did I miss this thread, I love Colonials and have been singin' the praises of collectin' one of the last affordable collectibles in the knife world. Here's my Forest Ranger complete with chain and compass/magnifying lens on the end. Somewhere on here there's a pic of this knife in the original box and cut out.

    Thanks for the great thread. :)

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    Oh because my Forest Ranger is so minty I don't use it but I like the idea so I made my own version using a Case Scout/Utility with a $2 10X loupe. :)

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    I know, close but no cigar... :) You know what? Having a magnifier on a chain at the end of your knives comes in pretty handy, you wouldn't believe how often you need one. Especially when you're comin' down hard on the wrong side of 50. :)
     
  11. B.Mauser

    B.Mauser

    Jul 22, 2011
    Happy to help you my friend. Thanks for your participation in this thread. I sure am enjoying it too. :thumbup:



    Hi Jimmy. Neat old Colonials. Thanks for posting pictures of them.

    As I'm sure you know, that camp knife is a special one. Its in great shape too. Ive seen a few of these before but yours is one of the nicest condition.

    For anyone interested, what makes this one so rare is the blade configuration.

    Its a model #1200 camp knife from the 1960s.

    But it has an electricians blade. And then to top it off it has a jumbo sheep's foot blade instead of a regular main blade.


    Very strange configuration for a camp knife. I wish I knew why these were made like this. Probably a special order....but why the heck?

    Very cool Jimmy!








    Hi Ted. How you doing? Its great to have you here!

    I was actually hoping you would show up because I know you are a Colonial fan. I spend a lot of time researching Colonial knives online. A few months ago I came across your Colonial thread here on Bladeforums. I wanted to reply but it was to old to resurrect.

    I keep seeing Purina knives on eBay and thinking of you! haha.

    I wouldn't use that Forest Master either. Its brand new! I am pretty sure I see the original oil that Colonial put on at the factory. Nice one!

    I really like those chains. I have been watching for them on Ebay occasionally but every time I see one that looks like a Colonial I have to much money in bids already and have to pass.

    I never thought of a loop on the end. Neat. I am a few years younger than you but I can barley read tang stamps anymore. I have one of those fly tying stands with a magnifying glass so I can read tangs stamps. Now I need a loop. And that loop with a compass? So cool, never seen anything like that.

    Thanks for the pictures.

    Brian
     
  12. B.Mauser

    B.Mauser

    Jul 22, 2011
    Here is a new one that I bought last week.

    Its a Colonial Golden Age Beverages knife. It has the curved stamp used from 1926 to 1938. Most of these I see are in pretty bad shape. I finally found a good one with most of the main blade not sharpened away.


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    I am still trying to find time to get pictures of a bunch of Colonials in my collection.


    Here is one more I got pics of today. A Colonial bare end jack with what I think is real wood. Colonial didn't use much real wood. I think this one is from the 40's, maybe 50,s at the latest.


    I wish it was in better shape but its the only one of these Ive ever seen. Handles are cracked on both sides. I think it looks a lot like a Case knife.

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    OK now here is one that I think is so much fun. A model #826, Davy Crockett knife. These are from the 1950's.

    I liked Davy Crockett as when I was a kid. I had a coon skin cap and used to dress up like him and go out in the woods behind my house to "play" Davy Crockett.

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    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  13. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    I carry a big, fat Vic SAK in a belt pouch. The magnifier is the tool I use most.
     
  14. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    I inherited this little Colonial pen knife from my Grandfather.
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  15. 5K Qs

    5K Qs Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2014
    Thanks for all the time and effort you put into your reply about my Forest-Master, B.Mauser. It was very interesting, informative, and much appreciated! :thumbup: For what it's worth, here's another (not very good) photo of my Forest-Master:
    [​IMG]

    The reason I include it is because of the can opener; you suggested that mine was probably a "Number 3" in your 9-knife photo, but my can opener looks much more like that on "Number 4". But "Number 4 was made from 1973 to ?", and my knife was with me more than 10 years before that! So I wonder if there was yet another version of "Number 3" with a different can-opener. Confusing, frustrating, intriguing!

    - GT
     
  16. T. Erdelyi

    T. Erdelyi Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    One of my most unusual Colonials and one of my favorites, one I searched high and low for and found locally either at a estate sale or fleamarket/yard sale, an uncut Colonial GM Key Knife, this'll fit any GM vehicle up to and including the early 70s. Some day when I get the right vintage Chevy pick up or the perfect 69 El Camino.

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    Sorry, I make this mistake every time, it's a tinshell Imperial, close but no cigar IIRC Colonial made these too in the 50s and 60s, I need to do some more research I think... :eek:
     
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  17. B.Mauser

    B.Mauser

    Jul 22, 2011
    Hi flatblackcapo. Thanks for posting your Colonial. The ones that are inherited are the most special in my opinion. Its great to see you still have it.

    That is a what Colonial called the Model 492, 2 Blade Jack. They made it in many colors. I have seen white, yellow, red, green and black.


    Here is a catalog with your knife.

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    I have a white and black one. The black one is new and unused. The white one is the complete opposite. I got it for $2 with the tip broken off. I bought a lot of 6 knives for 12$ shipped. They were all either broken or rusty. 3 of them were trash but I saved a Kent, End of day celluliod that was just rusty. The last 2 were Colonials with the tips broken off.

    I wharncliffed this white one and still carry it sometimes.


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  18. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Thanks for the kudos! When I originally purchased the camp knife, I just thought it was neat because of the different blades that it had, and that it would be a cool knife to add Colonial to my collection. Only after buying it did I find out that the blade selection on this specimen was pretty unique and rare, so it made the representation that much better for me. It was sold to me as New Old Stock... And I surely see no signs of any sharpening or signs of use. Same with the automobile knife, New Old Stock... And it too seems to be true to that in condition. Glad you came in and started this thread... Much interesting info is being shared, thank you! ☺
     
  19. glennbad

    glennbad Knife Moddin' Fool Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 13, 2003
    Here's some that I have. Pics aren't that great, sorry.

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  20. glennbad

    glennbad Knife Moddin' Fool Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 13, 2003
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