My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Ask knife related questions here. Please answer some if you are an experienced collector!
Post Reply
PvtRossi
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:12 pm

My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by PvtRossi » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:50 am

Hello all,

My search for a civilian or boy scout pocket knife (preferably with can opener and lanyard ring) dating to the 1920s or 1930s that I could use for a 1941-1944 US army soldier impression continues. Some have already helped me out in understanding that for soldiers in non-specialized roles (i.e. paratroopers, engineers, signal corps etc.) there was no military issue knife at least until 1944 with the Knife, Pocket, General Purpose (which probably didn't actually reach the lines well into 1945). So a civilian or a boy scout knife coming from home would be more historically accurate.
I am no expert on the subject (and actually very ignorant) so I please bear with me. I appreciate if you could give me some guidance in telling if a knife is pre-WWII manufacture or post-war.

I've found this anonymous-looking Ulster knife that fits my budget and needs for sale. Can anybody tell me if it looks like pre-WWII manufacture or if it's a postwar knife?
s-l1600.jpg
s-l1600s.jpg

eveled
Bronze Tier
Bronze Tier
Posts: 824
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:37 pm

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by eveled » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:43 am

IMHO, and it could be wrong. Look for funky can openers. The hook shaped can opener on the knife you show I think first appeared in ww2. Then everyone (except SAK) used it going forward. The older scout knives had various other types. Usually 2 piece can openers.

Also the ww2 knives that had the hook can opener would have had a longer bottle opener/ screw driver.

The one you show looks like 1970’s and up to me.

ScoutKnives
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: Florida

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by ScoutKnives » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:24 am

Here are a few Ulster examples that would fit your criteria , all pre WWII .

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... any+dwight
Always looking for Mint pre war scout knives

User avatar
tongueriver
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 4440
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:01 pm

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by tongueriver » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:48 pm

If the handles are bone on a given 'scout' or utility knife, the odds are extremely high that it is pre-WWII. There were a few war knives in bone by Ulster USA. Speaking of which, if a tang stamp says Ulster Knife Co. (not Ulster Knife USA) it is pre-1941. With the above exception, these utility knives had abandoned bone by the time the war started, and didn't pick that natural material back up again after the war. There are exceptions. On Ebay, there are so many 'scout' knives for sale that it boggles the imagination. Exceeded only by electrician knives. If you see a bone one, come here for corroboration of pre-war status.

PvtRossi
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:12 pm

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by PvtRossi » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:22 pm

Thank you all! This forum truly is a source of wisdom and knowledge!
I will ditch the first knife posted.
I guess the Ulster Model 1502 (manufactured 1923-26) would be perfect for me: https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ULSTER ... Sw7UBdiBuA

What saith thou?

Gunsil
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: Lower Hudson River valley, N.Y.

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by Gunsil » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:43 pm

The ebay one you show would be a good one to have and it is actually in very nice condition other than the patina/rust. It would be a good one for your authentic WW2 re-enactment.

By the way Cal, Ulster knives made for the military in WW2 carried the early Ulster Knife Co marks, not the Ulster USA marks. Once again the tang stamp charts fail miserably. Just look at the mark on an Ulster "mountain troops" knife only made during the war and they all have the early mark. Baer did buy ulster in 1941 but the mark did not change until after the war.

User avatar
tongueriver
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 4440
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:01 pm

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by tongueriver » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:47 pm

Gunsil wrote: By the way Cal, Ulster knives made for the military in WW2 carried the early Ulster Knife Co marks, not the Ulster USA marks. Once again the tang stamp charts fail miserably. Just look at the mark on an Ulster "mountain troops" knife only made during the war and they all have the early mark. Baer did buy ulster in 1941 but the mark did not change until after the war.
Excellent info. Are you sure that SOME of the 1941-1945 knives did not change the stamp?

Gunsil
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: Lower Hudson River valley, N.Y.

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by Gunsil » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:37 pm

I do know that Ulster made several models of pocket knives for the military during WW2 and they all carry the earlier mark. I consider it highly unlikely that they would change tooling for some and not others. Also since Baer bought the company in 1941 and a war was on why bother changing stamps at all? Kind of like Case Tested is said by some to have ended in 1940 yet all their pocket knives made for the military during the war carry the tested mark. I think both companies changed their marks when the war and all it's changes to manufacturing were over.

User avatar
tongueriver
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 4440
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:01 pm

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by tongueriver » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:54 pm

This is welcome info, Gene; glad to have it.

PvtRossi
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:12 pm

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by PvtRossi » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:21 am

Both Ulster Model 1502s I had my eyes on are gone.
I very much like to get one of those, but since the Army issued P-38 can openers ad nauseam,having a knife with a can opener is not a conditio-sine-qua-non for me. So I was looking at other models that would also be historically accurate for the period 1941-1944.
What do y'all think about this?
s-l1600.jpg

User avatar
KnifeSlinger#81
Posts: 3423
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:50 pm
Location: BA, Oklahoma
Contact:

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by KnifeSlinger#81 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:33 am

PvtRossi wrote:Both Ulster Model 1502s I had my eyes on are gone.
I very much like to get one of those, but since the Army issued P-38 can openers ad nauseam,having a knife with a can opener is not a conditio-sine-qua-non for me. So I was looking at other models that would also be historically accurate for the period 1941-1944.
What do y'all think about this?
s-l1600.jpg

That is a 1936-1952 era stamp, so it could be authentic ww2 era.
-Paul T.

Always looking for excellent to mint condition schrade cut co and pre-delrin walden knives. I also like craftsman branded schrades.

WTB mint GEC 81 abilene stockmans

doglegg
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 6335
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:35 am
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by doglegg » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:37 pm

PvtRossi wrote:Both Ulster Model 1502s I had my eyes on are gone.
I very much like to get one of those, but since the Army issued P-38 can openers ad nauseam,having a knife with a can opener is not a conditio-sine-qua-non for me. So I was looking at other models that would also be historically accurate for the period 1941-1944.
What do y'all think about this?
s-l1600.jpg
One of my favorite knifes. Tough, useful and beautiful. ::nod:: ::nod::
Does it have steel liners?

User avatar
Old Hunter
Silver Tier
Silver Tier
Posts: 7373
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:14 am
Location: Crystal Coast, NC

Re: My search for a pre-WWII civilian/boy scout knife

Post by Old Hunter » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:10 am

The Imperial EO is an excellent choice - very popular knife at the time and many were made. I have that knife in both bone and black synthetic - both still walk and talk beautifully and take a keen edge. OH
Deep in the guts of most men is buried the involuntary response to the hunter's horn, a prickle of the nape hairs, an acceleration of the pulse, an atavistic memory of his fathers, who killed first with stone, and then with club...Robert Ruark

Post Reply

Return to “Knife Related Q&A”