Empire Knife Company

A forum to discuss those companies that once produced so many of our favorite patterns. From Autos to Bullets to Novelty knives. From Remington, Schrade, Winchester, to cutlers of the Hudson River Valley, Pennsylvania, and more. Bring your questions and share your knowledge.
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upnorth
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Empire Knife Company

Postby upnorth » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:26 pm

One of the earliest and largest American knife companies, Empire seems to get relatively little mention from collectors. Most knife people have probably seen an Empire knife, but history is hard to find. Pankiewicz's book "New England Cutlery has a short blurb on it, two pages of mostly pictures. and I've found the usual mention in LG4, and Goins'. Tom Boutin wrote an article for Knife World some time ago.
If anyone has any literature, or information, I would greatly appreciate it.
I'm also interested in seeing or buying any older knives marked Empire, or paper from or about the company.
From humble beginnings in 1852, Empire grew into one of the largest in America by about 1918!
Please help out this research if you can!
Thanks,
Charlie C.
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stockman
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Empire Knife Co.

Postby stockman » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:01 pm

Hello Charlie, I also like Empire, but don't have many knives by them. I do have the Scout Knife pictured on page 192 of Antigue Knives by Bruce Voyles second edition and a electrician knife with the screwdriver blade that locks. It is released by depressing the master blade. The screwdriver blade is like the one on your top picture. If picture of the second knife I talked about would help you I will try to send it to you.

Stockman

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upnorth
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Pictures!

Postby upnorth » Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:35 am

Hi stockman, thanks for the offer! I've also got that electrician's "trick" knife, but I'd sure appreciate a picture or pictures of your scout, with all the blades visible. If you can do close-ups, the tang stamps would be great too.
Thanks again!


::tu::

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lt632ret
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Postby lt632ret » Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:02 pm

Once again I have been jammed up so sorry for not responding to your post on the Empires sooner I agree with you a great company, dates and history can be found in the usual sources. I am attaching a pic of a jack which carries the Empire shield which when I was looking for one to post a pic of, made it a bit easier to find I have a few of these however most are in displays and are lumped in with other CT and northeast tangs. So I have to sort through. You have some nice stuff . There are a couple of points regarding these that perhapes I should mention. First Empire and Napanoch made contract knives for Sears early on these knives carried the Wilbert tang which really was Sears both were out of Chicago. Later on Sears used various contract knives under there logo ie craftsman, ect many were made by Schrade as well as various other companies. Here is a pic of a Wilbert from a 1923 Sears catalogue. The most sought after Wilberts are the ones that carry both companies names like Wilbert and also somewhere else Napanoch knife company I do not know if you can find an Empire that also has Wilbert but it would be a nice find. If Nap on occasion ( they are rare ) did it I would have to guess on the side that Empire may have as well. One other point regarding Empires that buyers should be aware of, is that there was another Empire knife company these are Japanese imports but it is possible if you are not aware to buy one thinking you got a deal make sure it is tanged Empire Winsted CT. Unless of course you are looking for the import. LT
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upnorth
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Wilberts and such.

Postby upnorth » Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:57 pm

I have a couple of Wilberts that have no other stamps. Thanks for the pics, LT.
Two things, how long is that jack? Does it have any other marks, numbers etc?
And also, did you notice the knife in the catalog cut has the shield on the "rear" side?

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lt632ret
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Postby lt632ret » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:11 am

It has the correct tang stamp and is 3.5" I put it away but do not believe it had any other markings . Here is some information on Empire pretty regular stuff from Goins I did not take the time to write it out there is nothing really new in it and not worth the trouble of writing it out as long as you can read it. Besides it is not my work it is his. Goins is an excellant all around reference. If you check the regular references you may pick up a bit more. You do not have to be an expert to find most of this stuff. I had not noticed the reversal who knows why but very observant.
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Mossdancer
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shield

Postby Mossdancer » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:36 am

Upnorth;
The shield is correct. Its a negative image. Hold a mirror back from your screen and look at picture in it. Two processes in photography first you make a negative then reverse it into a positive.
wb

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jonet143
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Postby jonet143 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:37 am

lt, i think the layout artist used a little artistic license to fit the pic in the space allotted.
johnnie f 1949

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lt632ret
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Postby lt632ret » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:48 am

I thought it might be something like that but I do not know enough about it to comment and I get in enough trouble with stuff I do understand. Thanks.LT

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upnorth
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Postby upnorth » Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:03 am

LT, what book of Goins are those scans from? Is that the earlier "encyclopedia", or a book I'm not aware of?

Attached below, you will see an addition to the slowly growing collection.
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upnorth
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Postby upnorth » Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:10 am

This is the collection as of a year ago. I know I've posted it before, and in other places, but it seems to belong in this thread too! It is housed in a replica display from the 1880s.
With your indulgence;
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lt632ret
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Postby lt632ret » Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:25 am

Here is a pic of the book pages 90 and 91. That is a dandy display well done. LT
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stockman
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scout

Postby stockman » Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:35 am

Upnorth, here is a couple scans of the Empire scout knife I told you about. The scans are not to good, The scan man is poor at it. Click two seperate times for bigger pic, you will need to move pic to find knife. You can see etch , sorry about quality of pics. If you need better pics I'll try again.

Stockman PS I also had knife turned right in poto storage I'am not much on computers
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smiling-knife
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Postby smiling-knife » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:55 am

That is an amazing display upnorth. Thanks very much for posting it here for us. ::nod:: s-k

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upnorth
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The Scout

Postby upnorth » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:44 pm

What an interesting knife, stockman! Thanks for posting it!
I haven't seen that model before. The pictures work pretty good; I can see most of the detail. Do you think you can get a closer look at the tang markings?

Always a pleasure, s-k!

upnorth


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