Monday, October 12, 2009

Pocket Knives

I've always liked pocket knives and multi-tools. I only really tend to carry them when I travel especially if my vacation is sailing based but more and more I'm finding I really should just keep one on my all the time because they almost always come in handy. The recent release of the Victorinox and Alden knife collaboration piqued my interest in them again. I collected pocket knives as a kid and had a pretty decent sized collection. They were pretty much used as a gimmick to get me to keep quiet and busy in antique stores that my mom would bring me too. Eventually I started picking them up as souvenirs from places we visited as a family. My dad always stressed quality over quantity, not letting me pick up knock off Swiss army knives even if they had twice as many attachments as the real thing.
I'm a little shocked there's no corkscrew

Much cooler than a magnet form Niagara Falls
note the awesome mounted police action

I was always loyal to Victorinox who were the original supplier of knives to the Swiss army. They supplied knives starting in 1891, but in 1908 the contract was split with rival company Wegner. Each company was given a contract to produce half of the knives for the army. The Swiss army claimed it was to increase national harmony as Victorinox was in the German speaking region of the country while Wegner was in the French speaking area. Many people feel much of the decision was based on driving prices down. I still believe Victorinox makes a better product even with the recent purchase of Wenger by Victorinox in 2005. Swiss army knives only became popular in America after World War II when returning US soldiers showed off the knives they had taken from German prisoners. The knives were not standard issue to German soldiers, the soldiers often bought the knives with their own money due to the their extreme usefulness.

The original is still one of the most useful

1961 Military Issue

Like many kids I spent lots of summer nights camping in the small bit of woods behind my houses or in the woods behind friends houses. My friends and I would always trek off the 500 yards from one of our houses with enough army navy gear to survive a zombie apocalypse, set up a tiny fire and tents and have a blast. Some of my best memories were packing up all that gear for these diminutive expeditions, I don't know why but I still enjoy packing up for trips which is a task many people dread. By the time I started working I found the knives actually became useful, especially when I started a job at a marina where massive balls of knotted line were a daily occurrence. The tools became totally necessary when my friends and I set of on actual hikes and camping trips were we had to think about what we packed and couldn't drag a whole supply store with us into the woods. Hopefully when I get home next I can find my knives packed away in the gigantic pile of my stuff sitting at my parents house.

80 more attachments then you actually need

Way cooler than that regulator clock or Victorian armoire my
mom found at the antique store
My dream knife as a kid is now available on Etsy
A gentlemanly knife from etsy

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