NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

The Camillus Cutlery Company was one of the oldest knife manufacturers in the United States with roots dating back to 1876. The company manufactured Camillus branded knives and was a prolific contractor for other knife brands up until its last days in 2007 when the company filed for bankruptcy.
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby orvet » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:58 am

It has been a while since anything has been added to this topic to help in uncovering bits of Camillus history.

Here are three pages I found tucked away in a folder (electronic folder) that were published by Camillus. It was obviously printed after 1991, probably in the mid 1990s would be my guess.

I don't think I have posted them before, but it is possible. ::shrug::

I hope you enjoy them.
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby travman » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:01 am

Thanks for posting those pages Dale

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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby jerryd6818 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:08 pm

Dale, I recently acquired a little Camillus #24 with handles of what the 1965 catalog called Nu-Pearl. Since other knives in that catalog have Pyroxylin listed as the handle material, I'm going to guess that's what Nu-Pearl is made of. In a later catalog the name was changed to Sea-Pearl.
Camillus #24 (1965) Small Jack Nu-Pearl scales.JPG

Good Handle Shot.JPG


The knife got me curious as to what Pyroxylin is so I did a little research. I'm no chemist but comparing Pyroxylin and Celluloid, my interpretation of the Wikipedia definition looks like they're saying Pyroxylin is just another variation of what we call celluloid. The difference being nitrocellulose in ether and alcohol for Collodion/Pyroxylin or nitrocellulose and camphor for Celluloid. Base material for both is still GUN COTTON. :shock:

PYROXYLIN
Collodion is a flammable, syrupy solution of pyroxylin (a.k.a. "nitrocellulose", "cellulose nitrate", "flash paper", and "gun cotton") in ether and alcohol. There are two basic types; flexible and non-flexible. The flexible type is often used as a surgical dressing or to hold dressings in place. When painted on the skin, collodion dries to form a flexible cellulose film. While it is initially colorless, it discolors over time. Non-flexible collodion is often used in theatrical make-up.

CELLULOID
Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. Generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1862[1] and as Xylonite in 1869, before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is easily molded and shaped, and it was first widely used as an ivory replacement. Celluloid is highly flammable and also easily decomposes, and is no longer widely used. Its most common uses today are in table tennis balls and guitar picks.

The little #24 is not in the best of shape but it's one of my <$5 knives. As you can see from the second picture the blade pivot pin was loose so I practiced my peening on it (The damage you see on the bolster is pre-JerryD. Someone before me had tried to "fix it"). Now it's too tight. ::facepalm:: A couple of the handle pins are pulled out of the liner. I'm thinking about carrying it but I sure like that #33. ::hmm::
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby orvet » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:59 pm

You are spot on Jerry! Nu-Pearl & Sea-Pearl are Camillus’ name for pyroxylin. I think they were even registered like Staglon® was the registered trademark of Schrade for DuPont Delrin that was made to look like stag.

I am always mindful when consulting Wikipedia that it is user written, on other words anyone can write an article. I am sure they have some sort of vetting process but I am not sure what exactly it is. So I always try to check what Wikipedia says against other sources. A good source for celluloid info is the Knife World article by Dennis Ellingsen: “Celluloid - a Firm Maybe.” http://www.oregonknifeclub.org/celluloid_02.html

Dennis says ‘Celluloid’ was a brand name for pyroxylin or cellulose dinitrate, like Kleenex is a brand of facial tissues. The term celluloid is what most knife people use to refer to cellulose dinitrate or pyroxylin. The terms seem to be used synonymously at least when it comes to knives.

It is a great article that I refer to often with questions about celluloid. Dennis is a meticulous researcher and a good writer. There was also a recent article in Knife World (in the last 3 or 4 months) on celluloid that I have to study through. I just skimmed it on the first reading. I don’t recall who wrote it, but you might wish to consult it as well.

Nice little #24 you have. 8)
It appears the celluloid has not gone south yet. It may have a lifetime of use left in it! You can loosen the blade by clamping the blade in a vise as close to the bolster as possible, (preferably clamping the tang of the blade), and rocking the knife gently side to side. That and some Quick Release Oil may be all you need to do to have a good user. If you tape up the handle you can sand down just the bolsters then polish them and remove most of the dings in the bolster. A bit of superglue under the handles and a couple minutes in a clamp may make those handles stay down. I have used superglue on celluloid before experimentally and it does not seem to bother it.

A bit of work and it will be nearly as good as new, or good enough for a nice EDC! ::tu::

Nice find for <$5! But I agree, a nice bone handled #33 is pretty hard to beat! ::nod::
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby jclarke2152 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:15 am

I've just acquired a very nice Camillus Stockman # 66 with white composite scales in great condition... I was hoping someone would know roughly the age of it and if the scales are celluloid or delrin (I want to know if I need to store it away from my other knives).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby orvet » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:10 am

::welcome:: Welcome to AAPK!

The handles on your knife are celluloid, a style of celluloid called French Ivory.
It was probably made in the 1960s because in the early 1970s Camillus switched to Delrin handles instead of celluloid.

Nice knife! ::tu::
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby tjmurphy » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:42 am

I really like the French Ivory/Ivoroide handles, and that celluloid seems pretty stable in that i've never seen any of them degraded or out-gassing.
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby jclarke2152 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:31 am

Thanks gents for your reply... I was kind of hoping in a way it was celluloid (to substantiate the age) but at the same time hope that it doesn't deteriorate in the near future.

I purchased this knife at auction but it was not the main knife I was bidding on, so I was extremely happy to see such a beauty when I unwrapped!

Thanks again.

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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby smokepole » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:52 pm

Nice surprise - that is a really nice knife!
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby orvet » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:11 pm

jclarke2152 wrote:Thanks gents for your reply... I was kind of hoping in a way it was celluloid (to substantiate the age) but at the same time hope that it doesn't deteriorate in the near future.



I wouldn't worry too much about it deteriorating. Store it in the open air as, opposed to a close display case, so that any off-gassing may be carried away in the air instead of concentrated around the knife.

Celluloid knives that are stored in closed containers or displays tend to deteriorate much sooner. The French Ivory celluloid seems to be one of the more stable light colors of celluloid. Dark-colored celluloid tends to be the most stable, generally speaking.
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby orvet » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:15 am

I thought I would share a preview of coming Camillus history.
Recently I won a 1976 Camillus catalog on ebay. Larry Vickery very generously volunteered to cover half the cost, which was very nice as it ended up being the most expensive knife catalog I have bought to date.
I will have it copied and get the disc off to Larry so he can post it on Collectors of Camillus with all the other catalogs we have been able to get a hold of; http://www.collectors-of-camillus.us/

This catalog is a bit special because it the year of Camillus’ Centennial and the USA Bicentennial. This is the front cover of the catalog.
Camillus catalog cover 1976.jpg


This is a shot of another page I found very interesting.
Camillus catalog page 1976.jpg


This page shows old Camillus ads from their first 100 years. I especially liked the stainless steel ad: “Slice off that chaw with a stainless tobacco blade.”
I would like to see pics of a SHIELD BRAND STAINLESS knife if anyone has one. I don’t think I have ever seen one.

If you have any of the old brands mentioned on this page of old ads please post pics of the knives. Sword Brand we have seen, but SHIELD BRAND STAINLESS, STAINLESS SPORTSMAN are ones I have not seen, if they were branded with those names.
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby Miller Bro's » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

orvet wrote:If you have any of the old brands mentioned on this page of old ads please post pics of the knives. Sword Brand we have seen, but SHIELD BRAND STAINLESS, STAINLESS SPORTSMAN are ones I have not seen, if they were branded with those names.


I have some of these, sorry no pictures at this time :(
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby orvet » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:49 pm

We are patient. We can wait for a couple minutes. :mrgreen:
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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby Miller Bro's » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:18 am

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Re: NUGGETS OF CAMILLUS HISTORY FOR CAMILLUS ENTHUSIASTS

Postby travman » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:02 am

Here are a couple of the Camillus made Stainless Cutlery co
The first is a 3-3/8" senator with the Stainless bar shield
and fluted bolsters
the second is a 3-3/8" jack with the Stainless crest shield
also with fluted bolsters
The third is a 3-3/8"senator with the Stainless bar shield
in a darker bone handle.
These are not very easy to find,the jack was the more difficult one
I also have a Stainless Scout knife that needs a pin on the main
pivot end ,i can take pictures of it if you would like to see it

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