How old is this pocket knife?

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How old is this pocket knife?

Post by Alexander97 » Fri May 15, 2020 1:25 pm

Greetings from Georgia, USA!

I have this antique pocket knife, it appears to have pearl handle grips. This pocket knife belonged to my great great grandfather, who died in 1963. It sat in a shadow box at my grandparents, until it was handed down to me. The only marking on the blade isn’t legible. Can anyone here give me an idea of how old this little knife could be? My grandmother says she remembers it in the 1940s. I know the pictures might not be the best, but they’re attached below.

Thanks so much!

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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by Steve Warden » Fri May 15, 2020 1:28 pm

Sorry, I can't help with any info, but welcome to AAPK!
Someone smarter than I should be along soon.
What will certainly help would be a clear closeup of any stamping on the tang.
Take care and God bless,

TSgt USAF, Retired

But any knife is better than no knife! ~ Mumbleypeg (aka Ken)

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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by Alexander97 » Fri May 15, 2020 1:47 pm

Thank you! When I get back home I’ll try to get a better picture of that!

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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by edge213 » Fri May 15, 2020 2:16 pm

The only thing I can tell you from the pictures is the handles appear to be celluloid
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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by ea42 » Fri May 15, 2020 2:24 pm

It might be an Imperial, 40's or 50's would be about right. He really used that blade up, must have been a favorite!


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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by » Fri May 15, 2020 2:25 pm

The only marking might simply be a patent number. These little knives were sold off of counter-top display cards in retail stores.

Cannot help with dates, but possibly back to the 30’s and into the 50’s.

Imperial or Colonial were the makers as I recall.

And yes, the handles are celluloid covered sheet metal.

They were always inexpensive, but if I had one like it from one of my grandfathers or before, it would be priceless.

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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by KLJ77 » Fri May 15, 2020 2:52 pm

Very nice keepsake, Alexander. ::tu:: have something like that from my great, great grandfather...what a story it could tell.

::welcome:: Hope you hang around, kick up your feet and enjoy the company. There are no specific parameters that need to be met here, so let your hair down as far as you desire. Lots of things to do here and lots of people to guide you along. ::tu::

Edit: Well, there are rules and guidelines to follow. :D

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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by eveled » Fri May 15, 2020 2:55 pm

As the caretaker of this knife that has such extreme sentimental value. you should research celluloid, and keep a sharp eye out for any deterioration.

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Re: How old is this pocket knife?

Post by Reverand » Sat May 16, 2020 12:39 am

Welcome to AAPK!!! ::welcome::
It looks very much like an Imperial knife, and the shell-handled design means that it is from the 1930's or newer.
While these have pretty much no collector value in that condition, I know that it should and does have tremendous sentimental value! And it looks like your great great grandfather treasured it and used that knife regularly.
As to the advice on Celluloid, normally it is unstable and apt to damage old knives, but the thin celluloid wrap on these old Imperial knives is as stable as celluloid can be. I have not heard of any outgassing.
That said, if it were mine I would take care of it, maybe put it in my pocket on an occasional Sunday (just for the nostalgic feel of it), and would be prepared to pass it along to my children someday.
Thank you for sharing!!!
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Everything else is just a hobby.


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