Information on this Cattaraugus

The Cattaraugus Cutlery Company was started by John Champlin and his son Tint in 1882. It was first incorporated under the name J.B.F. Champlin and Son as a wholesale distribution company based in Little Valley, New York. The business proved to be a successful endeavor, and it soon branched into a knife production company named Cattaraugus.
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Sharpnshinyknives
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Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by Sharpnshinyknives » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:54 pm

I bought this Cattaraugus knife on Ebay a few days ago. The seller said that it was made from Cattaraugus parts in the 60’s or 70’s, so it’s not a production knife. The sleek shape and design really called to me. Plus it’s ebony handles were very well done and I like that too. It opens and closes great with good snap and it has good half stops as well. The finish is where it lacks a bit. There are some grind marks on the backsprings and there are also some marks on the blades that are curious. Given the age of the blades, I say it’s in pretty good condition. The seller referred to this as a “fantasy” knife.
Anyone know anything about this knife or seen one like it before?
I have noticed several Cattaraugus knives that are older have been cleaned and many have been buffed. There seems to be a lot of people out there who take these apart and get them cleaned up to sell, so it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary for someone to make a knife from the parts of another knife to me. But I could be wrong about that. So any thoughts on this would be helpful.
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SSk Mark “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by Mumbleypeg » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:16 pm

Nice looking knife, but I don’t find any like it in my Cattaraugus references. After the Cattaraugus factory closed in 1963, thousands of piece parts from the factory inventory were sold at auction. Those parts were eventually made into completed knives. Some were well made, but many of them were of shoddy quality workmanship. IIRC, there is quite a bit of info about this in Witcher’s Counterfeiting Antique Cutlery.

I’ve never seen a real Catt that wasn’t top notch quality, but many of those that were assembled after the factory
was closed leave much to be desired. And many were not representative of actual authentic Cattaraugus patterns. I suppose one could call them “fantasy” knives and I’d have no problem with that as long as they’re not represented as being authentic Cattaraugus knives. Doesn’t mean those were all bad knives, but even many of the better made ones just aren’t Cattaraugus knives, if you understand what that means. Then there’s the later Cattaraugus knives made by A.G. Russell. Those were well made high quality cutlery, made in Japan, but again were not necessarily true to actual Cattaraugus patterns. And those made by Case as part of their “Family Brands” releases.

Which is why collecting Cattaraugus requires having good reference materials, to know what is what. ::paranoid::

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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by KleenCut61 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:24 pm

I was drawn to that one on account of the blade combo is fantastic !! As far as everything else ::shrug:: I Don't Recognize The Body Pattern Anything ,Sorry . ::tu:: : But of coarse The Seller probably all ready knew that :lol: K.C.

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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by Montanaman » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:29 pm

It is interesting to me that the extended spring on the secondary is so short, almost like it was meant to have a longer secondary blade.

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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by 1fartsmella » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:33 pm

I understand, Rhett Stidam had 2 tractor trailer cars filled with this warehouse find back in the early 1970's. Many of these parts have been used in the last 45 years.
At least the seller of the OP knife did not misrepresent this knife.
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Sharpnshinyknives
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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by Sharpnshinyknives » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:47 pm

Good information all, thanks. I knew it wasn’t an authentic knife, I just liked it a lot and don’t intend to sell it. The handle shape is what makes it for me. and the swedges that were cut on the blades.
Kris, I noticed that also. Maybe he just put together what he had on hand.
The Stidam information was familiar, I wasn’t sure of the timeline on that, but that would fall right there in the time period the seller said this was made.
Ken, this all confirms why I don’t normally collect older knives, there is so much I don’t know about older brands, maybe some day I will.
SSk Mark “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by Doc B » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:09 am

I'm with you, Mark...I think it's a neat looking knife! ::tu:: ::tu:: ::tu::
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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by cody6268 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:34 pm

All I can say is that the blade selection is great (perfect for my use), and while unusual, the handle shape should make it a great whittling knife.

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Re: Information on this Cattaraugus

Post by Sharpnshinyknives » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:04 pm

Thanks guys, glad you like it. It would be good for whittling.
I had it out admiring it again today. Not sure I can bring myself to ever use it or risk scratching the ebony in my pocket with my car keys. Probably will sell it eventually but for now I am happy admiring it.
SSk Mark “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

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