Tom Williams (CAMCO) contacted me recently about getting his password reset for AAPK so he could log in.
He has some information he wants to post here.
We exchanged a few emails and spoke on the phone today.
Here is an excerpt from one of his emails to me. In this excerpt he discusses Camillus tang stamps and how unreliable it is to try to date Camillus knives by the tang stamp.
After reading what he wrote I think you will understand that dating Camillus knives by the tang stamp is very unreliable.
From Tom Williams-I was thinking about our conversations about dating Camillus knives by the tang stamps. I think the best way to describe the way that Camillus used the different stampings is to say that they overlapped. A new tang stamp would be introduced while older stampings were still in use. A new stamping may be introduced when a new line of knives was first offered or an old tang stamp wore out. Usually there were no records to indicate when stampings were changed. Sometimes a run of knives were produced and more than one tang stamp may show up on the knives. There may have been a shortage of blades to complete an order so a box of blades with an older tang stamp may be used.
The all stainless steel 4 blade camp knives (MIL-K knives or model #S1760 knives) had the years stamped on them and the new stamp with the new year was used when older blades were used up or the stamp wore out. We rarely started using the new blades in January of a new year when blades were left from the previous year. Take a year like 2002 and we may have not used the correctly stamped 2002 blades until April or May after all the 2001 blades were used up. I would check every year to see when the new stampings were first used and I can not remember the exact year, but one time we did not change over until September. I kept track of the change because knife collectors would want the new year knives when they first were manufactured. That probably happened because in November or December of 2001 a run of 100,000 blades was produced. Enough to finish up the production needs of 2001 plus many more than was needed. I hope this helps explain the use of tang stamps. .
Remember when the older knives were made there was not many knife collectors as there are today. During WWII the objective was to get the knives made and shipped to the servicemen that needed them as soon as possible. Interest in collecting WWII military knives came long after the war was over. Because of shortages and rationing, whatever was available was used.
For those of you who do not know Tom he worked for Camillus for 30 years, until the factory closed.
His mother worked for Camillus for 55 years, so you could say Tom was born & raised at Camillus.
Tom also shared with me some exciting projects he has been working on.
I won’t spoil his surprise; I will let him share it with you when he is ready. It is really neat!