Vintage EMPIRE WINSTED CT 1-Blade Barehead Jack Electrician’s Knife c.1856-1930
This is a Vintage or Antique EMPIRE WINSTED CT. 1-Blade Barehead Jack Electrician’s Folding Pocket Knife with a Used and Sharpened Carbon Steel Flathead Screwdriver Blade with Two (2) Wire Stripper Cut-outs, a Nice Set of What I Believe are Either Cocobolo or Rosewood Scales in Excellent Plus Condition with No Cracks, Splits or Missing Chips, a Brightly Polished Nickel Silver Fancy Shield Inlaid Flush in the Front Scale, Four (4) Nickel Silver Handle Pins in Each Scale, Rounded Nickel Silver Bolsters, Brightly Polished Nickel Silver or Steel Liners, A Single Polished Steel Back Spring with No Cracks or Breaks, 3 5/8” in Length, Made by the Empire Knife Co. Which was Located in Winsted, Connecticut and Made Between c.1856-1930.
This knife is almost identical to the knives Empire made for the Signal Corps during WW I. They were also referred to as Radioman knives. The only difference I note is that the shield on this one is different and more importantly this was doesn’t have a lock back to hold the screwdriver locked in the open position. This knife has no lock of any kind except for the slip joint. My thought is this knife may actually be older than the WW I issued knives. Also, there is, or was, a black coating on the last 3/8” or so on this blade. Not sure the purpose of that coating. Anyway, the knife has a single carbon steel flathead screwdriver blade with a wire stripper cut-out on each side. The blade still has most of its original factory mirror polish but it also has scattered staining on both faces. Stamped on the front tang is EMPIRE (over) KNIFE CO (over WINSTED CT. The blade still has excellent open and close snap. The Signal Corp knives I’ve had had ebony scales on them. Though these are mostly black there’s enough red in them to make me believe they’re most likely cocobolo but could even be rosewood. They’re in excellent condition with no cracks, splits or missing chips. It has a brightly polished nickel silver fancy shaped shield inlaid flush in the front scale. It’s held in place with a single nickel silver pin. There are four (4) nickel silver handle pins in each scale. The knife has polished nickel silver rounded bolsters. The liners are brightly polished nickel silver or steel. The knife has a single polished steel back spring and its free of any cracks or breaks and continues to perform the functions it was designed to perform. This great old vintage or antique Empire Barehead Jack Electrician or Radioman Folding Pocket Knife is 3 5/8” in length and made between c.1855-1930 in Winsted, Connecticut. Additional information or photos upon request.
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Item # 58016
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