SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

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.
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Meridian_Mike
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SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby Meridian_Mike » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:29 pm

Maybe you guys can fill me in here....

I just got this 787 "Improved Muskrat" in my hands....

787 Improved Muscrat 1.jpg


I'm curious.... Was there an earlier "muskrat" that needed improving?....(LOL).

Anyway, just asking...
Why is this an improved muskrat?

Mike
::shrug::
"...... are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?"

Then the jealous crow cried "Cora!...Why do you mock me so? You'll always be a beauty and I, a jealous crow."
The Jealous Crow......Chris Stewart & Back Country

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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby OLDE CUTLER » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:45 pm

Meridian_Mike wrote:Maybe you guys can fill me in here....

I just got this 787 "Improved Muskrat" in my hands....

787 Improved Muscrat 1.jpg

I'm curious.... Was there an earlier "muskrat" that needed improving?....(LOL).

Anyway, just asking...
Why is this an improved muskrat?

Mike
::shrug::


My dad had one of those years ago and as a kid I always wondered the same thing.
"Sometimes even the blind chicken finds corn"

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FRJ
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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby FRJ » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:57 pm

It could have been something like thicker liners or blade polish.
Maybe even a thicker spring and blades but that'll cost a lot more.
Of course these are my guesses. :)

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tongueriver
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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby tongueriver » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:09 am

On page 97 of the catalog reprint for Schrade Cutlery (1904-1946) the original "Improved Muskrat" is shown. "1 improved skinning blade (a wharncliffe) and 1 slim clip blade..." This was a reaction to orders for muskrats by the Hawbaker company who serviced trappers and others with supplies. I think CASE was the major supplier to Hawbaker. Well, the Schrade 'hawbakers' did not last long, but the new etch was there to stay, even after the reversion to two slim clip blades. That etch just looked good to the marketing division, I reckon. This is my theory.

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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby Mumbleypeg » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:44 am

The original Muskrat pattern had two Turkish clip blades. The first "improved" Muskrat was a modification credited to Stanley Hawbaker who replaced one of those clip blades with a long Wharncliff. This version became known as the "Hawbaker Special". Hawbaker commissioned SFO runs of his version, and sold them through his sporting goods and trapper's supply business. The first of those SFOs were made by Schrade, later versions by Case.

The OP knife is not an "improved" version. I'm guessing Cal is on the right track. Maybe when Case had the Hawbaker SFO contract, Schrade did not have the rights to use the Hawbaker name. Or they had left over Improved Muskrat shields so they used them. ::shrug:: Just a guess - search here for "Hawbaker" for more if you're interested.

Ken
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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby Mustanger » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:00 am

tongueriver wrote:On page 97 of the catalog reprint for Schrade Cutlery (1904-1946) the original "Improved Muskrat" is shown. "1 improved skinning blade (a wharncliffe) and 1 slim clip blade..." This was a reaction to orders for muskrats by the Hawbaker company who serviced trappers and others with supplies. I think CASE was the major supplier to Hawbaker. Well, the Schrade 'hawbakers' did not last long, but the new etch was there to stay, even after the reversion to two slim clip blades. That etch just looked good to the marketing division, I reckon. This is my theory.


What he said....
Attachments
787 SW Imp. Muskrat, Hawbaker.jpg
NOT MINE!

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Shearer
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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby Shearer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:45 am

I might be wrong.
Didn't Schrade go from a single back spring to a double spring.

Grant
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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby Meridian_Mike » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:55 pm

Yes sir! I knew you guys would know WHY.... LOL... Man, I LOVE this forum.
Thanks so much for the great outpouring of knowledge to us who want to know!
You guys are the best!

Mike
::tu::
"...... are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?"

Then the jealous crow cried "Cora!...Why do you mock me so? You'll always be a beauty and I, a jealous crow."
The Jealous Crow......Chris Stewart & Back Country

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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby tongueriver » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:19 pm

Shearer wrote:I might be wrong.
Didn't Schrade go from a single back spring to a double spring.

Grant

Yes.

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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby Mustanger » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:38 pm

tongueriver wrote:
Shearer wrote:I might be wrong.
Didn't Schrade go from a single back spring to a double spring.

Grant

Yes.


That reminds me of this Schrade Cut. Co. "Hunter & Trappers Special" knife. And another picture I have saved of a SCC Hawbaker muskrat. I don't read much, but I have lots of pictures to look at.... :lol:
Attachments
SCC Hunters+Trappers Spl..jpg
SCC Hunters+Trappers Spl. (2).jpg
Kinda risky opening both blades to half mast on one spring.
SCC Hunters+Trappers Spl. (3).jpg
SCC Hunters+Trappers Spl. (4).jpg
SCC Improved Muskrat.jpg

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Re: SO.... what is "improved" about this muskrat

Postby tongueriver » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:59 pm

Mustanger, you don't read your pms or emails either! :lol:


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