JonLeBlanc wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:12 am
That's pretty cool! The brass is nice too, although I reckon it might tarnish kinda readily
Yeah Jon, they're a cool testament to human inventiveness. Those brass scales can patina up pretty nice. I generally prefer steel liners and pins on traditional knives, as I don't like that ugly green verdigris which can develop in some conditions over time.
That brass knife is quite s find. Looks like it was setup to reside in a shirt pocket next to a pen. Way ahead if it’s time in concept but it’s small size probably limited its popularity.
All I remember from the 80s was after Spyderco came out with a hugely successful line of knives most other manufacturers scrambled to find ways to retrofit some models or intrusive new ones with those features. None of which were as elegant in my opinion.
These features may have eventually become popular as an integrated design, but Spyderco likely accelerated it that move by 10-20 years. Some knife makers were very reluctant to incorporate them.
Yes, the Sheffield knifemakers had a particular term for those one hand opening studs, which escapes me at the moment. I'll edit it in if I can find the reference again.
Those slim two bladed penknives (without the thumbstuds) were actually a very popular design in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most white collar type workers, or 'gentlemen' would have carried something similar. Remember, these were the days when a man, and most women would no more have gone out without their pocketknife, than they would have gone out in public without their clothes.
Working folk would mostly have carried jackknives of stouter construction.
Dating traditional slipjoints accurately can be difficult for a number of reasons, but if I had to make an educated guess, I would think the brass knife may possibly have been a model made just after World War 1. There were a number of knife and tool designs made for people who had lost their hand or an arm, just as there were after the US Civil War. (There was a kind of spork with a sharpened cutting edge on one side, made for one armed men to eat with, after the Civil War.)
As to why the design didn't become more popular at the time, my guess is that the thumbstuds interfered with some kinds of cutting operations, and perhaps hindered sharpening along the full length of the blade, like some thumbstuds on designs today.
I've only ever seen that one example of a pocket clip, pre Spyderco, and as stated above, it's such a rare example, that I'm sure Sal wasn't aware of it when he invented the Spyderco type of clip.
Just goes to show how adaptive and inventive humans are.
I completely agree with your take on the way Spyderco have sped up the evolution of knife design and materials used.
The knife buying market can be very traditional and conservative - just look at how long it took for stainless steel knives to be accepted. Stainless steels were invented around 1912, but well into the '50s and '60s manufacturers were still favouring carbon steels, because that's what the market demanded.
A lot of the inventiveness in knife design derived from the custom makers. Spyderco helped to bring many new features from those craftsmen into the mainstream, as well as incorporating a strong spirit of CQI into their own basic design approach.