Schrade Cutlery Company was founded in 1904 by George Schrade, and his brothers Jacob and William Schrade. In 1946 Imperial Knife Associated Companies, (IKAC; an association of Ulster Knife Co and Imperial Knife Co) purchased controlling interest in Schrade Cut Co and changed the name to Schrade Walden Cutlery. In 1973 the name was changed to Schrade Cutlery. In 2004 Schrade closed due to bankruptcy.
This forum is dedicated to the knives that are the legacy of this company. This forum is not the place to discuss the replica knives currently being imported using the Schrade name.
Here are 2 nearly identical knives: both are marked: "Schrade/Walden/N.Y. U.S.A." on the front tang and "735/Stainless" on the back. Both have a lever at the marlin spike end that says: "Spike Release" & "Press Down". One has a blade etch: "Ted Williams" "Bosn's Mate/Stainless Steel". The spike on the one with etch, locks open, the spike on the other one does not. Looking at the tang area of spike when closed, a piece of the steel 'tab' that would engage the lock has been ground off. The knife shows no use so it was not worn down from use. It must have been ground off at the factory before assembly. But: WHY ? This is the Schrade Marlin Mystery. Most of the 735's i have owned ( ~ 10) show the same ground down tab at base of spike and do not lock. The locking one is rather rare or at least, uncommon. Yet all have the "Press Down Spike Release" lever. The only info on the 735 i could find here is a post by thawk, a highly respected Schrade collector: "Does the spike have a lock or not, and is there a pattern number on the back of the blade? The non locking versions (735) were made prior to the locking versions (735L) They all had stainless steel blades, and most had that reddish black stagged handle that was prone to shrinkage"
Neither of my knives have "L" on the tang so thawk's explanation is not the full story.
So: what happened at Schrade Walden that resulted in ground off spike lock tabs but retaining the release lever ? Someone here must know. Please explain the 735 mystery. kj
3 daze and no replies ! Comon guy's get out your S-W 735's and check if spike locks or if locking 'tab' is mostly ground off ? Let's see how many actually lock. And maybe someone who worked for Schrade might know the old Schrade-Walden story about the non locking Marlin spike with a "Press Down" "Spike Release" lever. I find this interesting. Anyone else ? kj
Thank you Larry. Unfortunately there is no helpful info in that 2006 BF thread. I have owned a few 735's that looked never used, yet the spike lock did not lock because the locking 'tab' had been ground off; i.e. there are plenty of the non locking S-W 735's yet in about 15 years of Schrade forum on BF and about 12 (?) years here on AAPK, and this topic has never been brought up ! So, let's have some participation especially from 'The Old Ones', and figure out what is going on, or went on, with the 735's. kj ps: dl, yes "Ted Williams" i believe was the buyer for 'Sears Sporting Goods' or maybe just the cutlery part of 'Sporting Goods'. I am a Sears collector especially of the Camillus made "Sta-Sharp" folding knives.
Yes but not the same Ted Williams as the etch. At least this is what i have read in the past in the BF Schrade forum which i am no longer able to search. If someone here can search "Ted Williams" in the BF Schrade forum and post the relevant links it would be of help as there is quite a bit of relevant Sears info there. kj
Ted Williams was indeed one of the greatest Major League Baseball players in history, a decorated Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilot, WWII and Korea hero, and an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. As such he was also highly sought for product endorsements, and Sears marketed a line of premium sporting goods with his name on the products. No doubt this knife was one of those items. Whether the Sears specifications had anything to do with the way the knife was made, and the difference between the two knives, I do not know. But it's not unreasonable to speculate that might be the case.
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Thanks for straightening out the "Ted Williams" connection for me. Ken the knives are the same except for one locks, one doesn't. I did have a locking S-W 735 with no etch but i sold it. I think the locking ones were made first and then for some reason they were made with the locking tab at base of spike ground off. Why did they continue to use the "Press Down Spike Release" lever when it wasn't needed ? The whole thing is a mystery. I wonder if Eric knows why most 735's do not lock ? kj