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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I started watching the forging show and it got me to thinking about the few knives that own. I remembered that my parents gave me a knife one Christmas to use for backpacking in 1974 when I was living in Boulder, CO. It was a fixed blade, rather nice, and I had taken very poor care of it over the years. I dug it out the other day and it cleaned up pretty well with minimal effort. It was stamped Camillus NY and 1007. I did some reading and found that It was made for Camillus by Western Cutlery...a version of what I believe was their L48ABG knife. The leather sheaf had oak leaves and acorn stamping and was in good condition. The interesting part is that the Arapahoe Chemical plant where I worked was less than a mile from the factory. My question is what period did Western use the oak leaf pattern on its leather?
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The Western "Acorn & Oak Leaf" embossments on sheaths first appeared on a select few sheaths in 1941.
They next reappear, again only on some sheaths, in 1947 advertisement pictures. Whether they were available in 1946 is unknown to me. All 1946 ads I have seen just depict the knives and just the words "heavy saddle leather sheaths".
The A&O pattern appears all the way through the Coleman Western years (1990) on some but not all models. No Camillus made sheath ever had the A&O pattern.
The patterns changed over time, but that's a story for another thread.
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