Imperial Shell Handle?

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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TwoFlowersLuggage
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Imperial Shell Handle?

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:07 am

Hello again!

I have an Imperial knife that belonged to my father. We think this might have been a wedding gift (My parents were married in 1948) or maybe a gift he received some time in the 1940s or 50s. He kept this knife in box that looks like it could have been the gift box it came in and that box was in a drawer mixed in with other knick-knacks and mementos from that era.

I found this WONDERFUL post from Admin orvet: viewtopic.php?f=64&t=54406&p=605119 which introduced me to the term "shell handle". As you can see from the pictures, my knife is very similar to the knife in that post, however the shield is different and the tang is marked "Imperial USA Prov R.I." with the USA vertical. The secondary blade is marked with some numbers.

Can anyone help me date this knife? Would this also be considered a "Jackmaster #801"? I originally thought it looked like a Peanut?

Crown Shield
IMG_20171226_172953.jpg
Reverse
IMG_20171226_173003.jpg
Carbon Steel blades
IMG_20171226_172815.jpg
Shell handle tabs
IMG_20171226_172928.jpg
Imperial USA tang stamp with a small crown
IMG_20171226_172815.png
Secondary blade tang - I have no idea what these numbers mean
IMG_20171226_174605.jpg
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jerryd6818
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Re: Imperial Shell Handle?

Post by jerryd6818 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:34 am

Good pictures. What's the closed length?
BTW, those numbers on the secondary blade are Patent numbers.
Here's an Imperial Tang Stamp Chart.
Attachments
Imperia & Hammer Brandl Tang Stamps.jpg
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Re: Imperial Shell Handle?

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:46 am

Closed length is 3.125 inches. Thanks for the tang stamp chart. So, we know it is after 1956. Well, that kills the "wedding gift" theory! And, thank you for the tip on the patent numbers. That allowed me to find this:
http://www.collectors-of-schrades-r.us/ ... atents.htm

So, if I look up the 3 patent numbers, they are from 1942, 1954 and 1949 respectively. So, that doesn't really help us as they are all prior to 1956.

The one thing that bothers me is that the little crown in the primary tang stamp doesn't really look the reference drawing. It also doesn't look like a poor strike.
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Re: Imperial Shell Handle?

Post by gsmith7158 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:04 am

I wouldn't worry too much about that stamp. They used different dies for the different sized ranges. There was bound to be some discrepancies. Here's one I have, it takes an edge like nobodies business.
Attachments
20171226_215615.jpg
20171226_215526.jpg
------------------

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Re: Imperial Shell Handle?

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:25 pm

Is there any correlation of the shield shape to specific years? I found a 1959 Imperial catalog online, and none of the knives have the round shield with crown. However, those catalogs are drawings, not photographs, so I suppose the actual knives could certainly have been different.
https://www.collectors-of-schrades-r.us ... perial.pdf
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Re: Imperial Shell Handle?

Post by whitebuffalo58 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:38 am

I've always thought of Imperial as being the most frugal and prolific knife company in history. Especially where the shell handled knives were concerned. I also think most people would agree, they were fairly notorious for mixing and matching parts. If they finished a few runs and had parts leftover and no place in particular to use them, they would create one, either through a whole new pattern or at very least another variation on a already established pattern. Here's what I believe to be a good example of that.
SANY0003.JPG
All eight of these are built on the same 2-3/4" serpentine pen frame, but there's something different about each one. Different shield/no shield, advertising, blade etch, blade configuration, tang stamp. As far as tang stamps go, out of the eight, there are six different tang stamps. Including one stamped Imperial England and even one with a Frontier Powderhorn tang stamp. That one even makes me scratch my head.

Most of Imperials standard line can be dated fairly accurately by the tang stamp, but there's just about as many oddballs that are ballpark guesses at best. They were very good at using up leftover parts and if you watch, you'll find quite a few that step well outside of the norm.


WB

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