Western Tang Stamps

In 1911, H. N. Platts, was able to draw on his extensive friendships and family connections in the cutlery world to start Western States Cutlery and Manufacturing of Boulder Colorado. At first only a jobbing business, by 1920 construction and machinery purchases were underway to begin manufacture of knives. Through name changes--to Western States Cutlery Co. in 1953, then Western Cutlery Co. in 1956--and moves first across town and later to Longmont Colorado, the company stayed under the leadership of the Platt family until 1984. In that year, the company was sold to Coleman, becoming Coleman-Western. Eventually purchased by Camillus in 1991, Western continued until Camillus expired in 2007.
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Western Tang Stamps

Post by trail » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:11 pm

So, let's get this great new forum started. How about a thread to collect all the various Western tang stamps over the years? I'll start off with one from an R12 fixed blade. I think this knife is from the Camillus era.
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by sextonknifeworks » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:44 am

Here is a pic I cropped down but you can still see. This is front and back of the latest barlow I picked up.
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dsc_0042 tang.jpg
dsc_0043 tang.jpg

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by orvet » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:21 am

Here is a Western tang stamp guide I got somewhere.
It was probably originally published in Knife World.

I know it doesn’t have all their stamps, but it is a start.
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Western Tang Stamp guide.jpg
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by jerryd6818 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:13 am

Well, dang. They left out the one from the 50s -- Western over Boulder Colo over USA
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by trail » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:00 am

The first one is from a 442a and the second from a beat up old West-Cut 334.
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western_442_tang.jpg
west-cut_tang.jpg

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by trail » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:49 pm

Here are two of the three stamps on my Western stockman. The third stamp, on the reverse of the main blade is the model number, 657.
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western_657_tang_2.jpg

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by stressmaster5000 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:57 pm

Here are a few I have right now. I have some Westaco also but the stampings are light or worn and hard to get a good photo of. Not sure but I think the bottom "Bird" knife is Camillus made.
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Western Large Trapper 691
Western Large Trapper 691
Western Stockman W338 with serrated Sheepsfoot blade
Western Stockman W338 with serrated Sheepsfoot blade
Western Stockman W338 with serrated Sheepsfoot blade
Western Stockman W338 with serrated Sheepsfoot blade
Western Bird knife
Western Bird knife

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by FRJ » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:29 am

Here's 5 of mine.
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058.JPG
061.JPG
062.JPG
064.JPG
065.JPG
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by TripleF » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:08 pm

Western 657
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western 657 usa knife 002.JPG
western 657 usa knife 004.JPG
western 657 usa knife 022.JPG
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by chautauqua » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:13 pm

hope you can see tang stamps as battery died after 1st pic,these knives are similar,but must have been from different years one has carbon blades and a bail the other has stainless,both have western states in an arch over boulder colo,these 2 are the only advertising knives ive ever seen from western bought them both at a lawn sale for a quarter for the pair
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by citydweller » Thu May 02, 2013 1:19 am

Hey all, just picked up a 13" fixed blade Western this afternoon. Here is the tang mark. Can't seem to find or date it.

More photos at this Picasa web album. If anyone can date this I'm all ears.
2013-05-01 19.10.25.jpg
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by tongueriver » Thu May 02, 2013 2:28 pm

I believe that it is a World War Two blade and guard which has been re-handled.

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by jerryd6818 » Thu May 02, 2013 6:29 pm

jerryd6818 wrote:Well, dang. They left out the one from the 50s -- Western over Boulder Colo over USA
Why I didn't post a picture the first time, I don't know. It's on an L39 I was given in 1957.
My old Western L39 Tang Stamp.jpg

And I have one like the one Mike and Stressmaster showed. It's on a 901 Stainless Camper.
Western Camper - Tang Stamp.JPG
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by citydweller » Fri May 03, 2013 6:07 pm

tongueriver wrote:I believe that it is a World War Two blade and guard which has been re-handled.
A local knife dealer (uncle*ron on ebay) says the mark dates around 1934-1950, also confirmed the rehandle.
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by coffeecup » Fri May 03, 2013 9:50 pm

Crossguard looks like iron; if so, that is largely a WWII trait (the use of brass was controlled as a strategic material). A shot of the pommel (if it still has it) will help date it a bit better.

By the production numbers, the knife is most-probably a G48-6 (6" blade, leather handle, sometimes referred to as a "Shark" knife) but might be a G48-5 (5" blade, leather handle, sometimes referred to as a "Baby Shark"). Lesser chance that it is a G48-8 (8" blade, leather handle, not common enough that it got a nickname I guess).

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by TripleF » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:47 pm

Is this from 1928- 1931, 0r 1935 - 1950 ?

It's the BOWIE knife:
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lot7.12.13 023.JPG
lot7.12.13 024.JPG
lot7.12.13 028.JPG
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by coffeecup » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:11 am

Um, neither. The tang stamp dating estimates don't apply to this model.

The WWII-era version had a straight crossguard. Per Western, this knife was introduced as a commercial product in 1964. Based on examples of datable purchases, the mark on your knife was in use from '64-probably sometime in '66. Examples of the next stamp in the sequence (WESTERN/BOWIE/USA) were purchased as early as April 1967.

The sheath seems to be a later example, though it might be original to the knife. The sheath pivot was first cataloged in 1968. From examples of datable purchases, this sheath may have actually reached the market prior to August 1967, but the earliest example I'm aware of can be documented to that month and year.

So you have a nice example of the first version of the W-49 bowie; the sheath may be original or a replacement. It is a wonderful piece of kit, but dates to '64 at the earliest.

Jim

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by tongueriver » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:31 am

Excellent information, Jim; we all can thank you.

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by coffeecup » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:17 pm

I hope it is helpful. I need to get in gear and get a synthesis of the information I've gathered on the W49 model posted in one block. With multiple data sources (published information, some examples where the purchases can be dated, and notes from interviews with a couple of former Western employees), it should be reasonably accurate. The big hangup is going to be gathering photos of examples: I'm too broke right now to go out and buy all the examples! :lol:

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by TripleF » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:15 am

Thanks coffeecup. You inspired me to confirm or deny your statements.

Based on a couple other knife forum topics I am agree with your dating, AND I believe this was the first bowie knife produced with this tang stamp....I don't mean it was the first knife off the line, rather this was the original tang stamping used on the blade.
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by coffeecup » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:27 am

Yeah, that is the first tang stamp used when the knife was introduced as a commercial product. Rivet size--"small" relative to later rivets--is another clue that it is an early knife.

On the rare later Westerns done without bifurcated tangs (like the W49), the tang stamp rules for dating don't apply. It almost looks like we'll have to work out model- or pattern-specific dating guidelines.

Jim

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by Mossdancer » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:47 pm

coffeecup :
Hi Jim, Although not a bowie interesting anyway. Nice stamp of a West-Cut. My question is it does not have the split tang. Is it before the patent or a newer example.
I don't know if it will help but I also gave a close up of the pommel rivet.
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by coffeecup » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:06 pm

Moss, my hunch is that your knife was an SFO made for Western. Definitely not a split tang, but the knife definitely post-dates adoption of the split-tang construction. (Aside from the tang stamp, look at the pommel: they adopted that form after the split-tang. Some of the early split-tang knives still have the earlier "mushroom" pommel.)

Western was pretty-heavily committed to the split tang, doing a knife like this would have required extra work, so I don't think it was done in-house. From what I've been told by a couple of guys who worked for Western, they were still doing this occasionally as late as the 1970s, but I've never seen one. I wonder who made it--Camillus?

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by Mossdancer » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:54 pm

Back again;
Jim, here is I think an example of the next model you spoke of a couple of posts back.
After putting 2 and 2 together I think the original leather may have rotted in the South Viet Nam jungle and a small Red fox offered his hide as a repair for the sheath in the field. Check the thinness of the skin (that is a common dental pick for size).The thickness would to me indicate adapting to live in a hot humid clime. Sheath has the small rivet you referred too. The water hole is present in the lower shot. Could all this rhetoric be viable or not. For anyone who may not know I have added a pic of a later w 49 handle with the large rivets.
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PICT0001 (800x425).jpg
PICT0002 (800x600).jpg
PICT0003 (800x600).jpg
PICT0004 (800x600).jpg
PICT0005 (800x600).jpg
PICT0006 (800x600).jpg
PICT0007 (774x800).jpg
PICT0008.JPG
PICT0001 (800x400).jpg
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Post by tygr » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:08 pm

I'm brand new to the forums and I'd love it if someone could help me identify my Western knives; age, model, style, etc. I really know nothing about knives in general, so anything would be helpful.

I don't have an image of the imprint on the tangs right now, but I do know they say

WESTERN
Boulder, Colo
Pat'd Made in USA

Thanks in advance!
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2014-09-11 18.56.55.jpg
2014-09-11 18.57.16.jpg

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