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Camillus Army Post Exchange Resale Knife from WWII

Discussion in 'Camillus Collector's Forum' started by jordansherer, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
    Howdy All,

    I've been collecting my fair share of Camillus knives for some time, and have recently grown fond of the knives produced right before, during, and right after WWII. Unfortunately, there's one knife from the Camillus "knives that went to war" (page 34 of the 1946 catalog) advertisement that has been eluding me. It's titled the "Army Post Exchange Resale Knife" and would be equivalent to a modern day radio jack, with a spear blade with a bottle cap lifter:

    [​IMG]

    I can't seem to find any useful information about it, it's size, how many were made, or even if it was in covered in bone or wood. So, two questions:

    • Do any of you out there in BladeForums-Camillus-subforum-land have one of these that you could post a photo of?
    • Do any of you have any more information on this knife?

    Thanks for the help!

    NOTE: this is a re-post of a similar thread that I posted incorrectly in the Traditionals sub-forum.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  2. sac troop

    sac troop

    859
    Mar 4, 2009
    I haven't run across it either. In fact the image in the 1946 catalog is the only one I've seen yet. It's not in any reference material that I've obtained so far. Also in looking for it I've noticed that all examples of, ( what Camillus called an equal ended knife body), by any other maker, those knives have at least three blades. I'm not sure that a knife maker would consider using that pattern knife body with only two blades both on the same end of the knife.
     
  3. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
    I agree in part, except that Camillus *did* have other 2-blade jack knives with the equal end body. On page 14 of the same 1946 catalog, there is this reference image of the "Heavy Equal End Jack":

    [​IMG]

    So, from what I can gather, this Army PX Resale Knife seems like it would be similar to that "Heavy Equal End Jack", with a bottle cap lifter in place of the pen blade, and a bail added to the opposite end of the blade pivot.
     
  4. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter

    Jul 12, 2012
    Looks like Utica - Kutmaster took the PX knife idea and put it into production; I picked this one up a few years ago - it has green Delrin handles and a Clip main - but follows the Camillus design pretty closely. I have no packaging, but guessed it as a late 1960's into the 1970's era knife. OH

    [​IMG]
     
  5. sac troop

    sac troop

    859
    Mar 4, 2009
    I stand corrected on the two blade equal ended pattern. Shows how conditioned I’ve become to Barlows and Easy Opens.
    Back to the knife in the OP I still have never come across one in the flesh, a picture of another for sale, or one shown in a U.S. military knife reference, as of yet. Even in the 1960’s document from Camillus titled:
    “Principal Items Delivered to Armed Forces During World War II From 1941 to 1946 By Camillus Cutlery Co.”
    I can’t find it in there either.
     
  6. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
    I know! It's almost as if it never existed. I really wonder what happened to them all.
     
  7. acourvil

    acourvil Platinum Member Platinum Member

    608
    Dec 2, 2006
    I have one of the Army Post Exchange resale knves. I'll try to take a good pic and post it if I can find the time. The only knife in that "Knives that went to War" collection that I don't have is one that I suspect was very common: the paring knife. But for the life of me I've never been able to find one.
     
  8. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
    Fantastic! I (and a few others it seems) would love to see one!
     
  9. jerryd6818

    jerryd6818

    212
    Dec 28, 2006
    I thought cool, I have one of those BUT when I went to my pictures and looked closely at what I had labeled as an Army PX knife I immediately started noticing the differences. It has the four line tang stamp alright and the correct blade compliment BUT it also has a large glaring EZ Open notch, brass liners and brass pins, plus a tear drop lower end. So, now what the heck do I have? Pre-WWII? Post-WWII made up from all the surplus parts Camillus had already made up for the war effort? Your guess is as good as mine. BTW, the handles are one of the iterations of that black synthetic Camillus used starting in the 1930s and ending sometime in the 1960s. I think a good guess is the handles of a genuine Army PX knife also used those handles.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  10. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
    I found it!

    Wood (rosewood?) scales.
    4-line stamp.
    All steel construction.
    Offset clasp/bail.

    It's a quite interesting knife:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    eveled likes this.
  11. MerryMadMonk

    MerryMadMonk Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 22, 2011
    Excellent! Congratulations, Jordan... that's a real prize!
     
  12. sac troop

    sac troop

    859
    Mar 4, 2009
    Jordan, thanks for posting! I've only seen that type of clevis used on one other Camillus knife. It was a version of the knife called the Army Air Corp utility knife in the post war #46 catalog page 34. Supposedly the clevised version was for survival kits provided in case of water landings. In one Camillus document the model number is reported as "14J95A".
    Really nice to finally see one of these knives.:thumbup:
    I should back up, I also see this type clevis on the Army/Navy fishing knife shown on the same page of the 46 Catalog. Sure looks like the image of your knife on those pages has the more typical Camillus clevis. We're always subject to "artistic impression" when catalogs consist of drawings.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  13. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
    Thanks! Yep. You're right. It's pretty uncommon to see a Camillus knife with this type of clevis.

    All speculation of course, but I'm wondering if it was cheaper to produce this way during this period of time when Camillus was churning out millions of knives for the war. And, because it was a Post Exchange knife and wasn't going to be issued, perhaps having a cheaper clevis wasn't an issue.

    There *are* quite a few knives from other brands during this era with a removable clevis, like the Kamp King, Clover Brand, and the Syracuse knife company. One interesting thing is that both Clover Brand and SKC were made by Camillus during this time period. So, perhaps there was a bit of cross-over.
     
  14. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
  15. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
  16. MerryMadMonk

    MerryMadMonk Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 22, 2011
    For easy reference, here's the Army and Navy Air Corps Emergency Fishing Knife with similar clevis

    [​IMG]

    and the Army Air Corps Utility Knife with rosewood handles

    [​IMG]
     
  17. jordansherer

    jordansherer

    181
    Feb 8, 2015
    Those are beauts!
     
  18. kingston73

    kingston73 Gold Member Gold Member

    600
    Oct 14, 2013
    Old thread but I’ll add to it since it’s such an unusual topic. I didn’t know when I bought it but I have one with some type of plastic scales:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    eveled likes this.
  19. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    847
    Mar 11, 2016
    Neat knife. I’m surprised Camillus never made that pattern with the stamped stainless US handles.
     
  20. sac troop

    sac troop

    859
    Mar 4, 2009
    Camillus did receive an initial order for these knives, (over 100,000) late in the summer of 1945. While they were collecting the special parts and tooling to start production the two bombs were dropped on Japan, the War ended and the Government canceled the order. Camillus first run of this type knife was made in 1949. Very small run from everything we can tell. They then produced the knife continuously from 1957 to 2006.
    Of all the knives Camillus made the pattern 1760 had the most number produced with the model TL-29 type knife coming a close second.
     

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