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First “real” knife

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by torqueguy, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    I recently ran across a vintage Herters Catalog from 1970 on ebay. When I was a kid, Herters was my go to catalog for all cool things. I was 12 in 1970 and I remember sending away for a “Genuine” Herters Bowie Knife. George Herter was ahead of his time in marketing. After recently buying the old catalog I immediately looked up the knife section and there, for $1.90 was my knife. The sheath was .40 for a grand total of $2.30. I’ve had this knife all my life. First thing I did was grind off the lumpy thumb bump which stuck out like a Woodruff key. I then reground the belly out of the blade and reshaped the handle. I regret grinding off the “Herters Waseka MN” but that was 50 years ago. I love this forum and thanks for the memories.

    [​IMG]

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  2. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary Gold Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    Kinda puts to shame my purchase of a Cold Steel knife on Amazon, but I guess there’s just a generational divide that is impossible to bridge because catalog-based purchases are basically lost to time.

    The last thing I bought from a catalog was a lego set when I was 10.
     
    FullMetalJackass likes this.
  3. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Amazon is not much different than the old Sears catalog. Pretty much anything shipped to your door.

    I never ordered from Herters
     
  4. thinkpanda

    thinkpanda

    43
    Sep 21, 2013
    that doesn't look like a bowie knife at all from my point of view even with the woodruff key on...
    or maybe herter is not only ahead of his time but also mine ,hehe
     
  5. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    I do like that they're hammering it through a nail.
     
    torqueguy likes this.
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I have one old Herter's catalog. My first 1" tube scope I bought for a 22 rifle came from Herters. Worked great and still works even though it is only a 4x. Bought a 4x for a 243 rifle from them that fogged up. These days, higher magnifications seem to be preferred on 22's. Looking at an old Herter's catalog is a trip down memory lane for me. Loved their catalogs! They claimed everything was "the best". I believed it for the most part. ;) I still wear camo that I bought at Herter's many years ago... it is the old WWII pattern that was popular after WWII and until some of the new fangled camo designs came out. Herter's may have been a forerunner in that department with their marsh patterns. Still works great and I constantly look for a camo shirt jacket (with pockets) to wear fishing to replace this old one. You don't want to know how old this camo shirt is, but it was purchased for archery hunting back in the late 60's.

    Was always tempted by their 41 caliber revolver (0.408" as I recall) that I believe was German made.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
    torqueguy and Lesknife like this.
  7. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    Old George said the knife was made out of some super kind of steel. Years later I found out it was 440. He was a marketing genius for sure
     
    Danke42 likes this.
  8. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    The 41 cal was made by Weihrauch. Very well made guns

     
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I have read that about the revolver. George Herter was ahead of his time in terms of his thinking about effectiveness. The Remington 41 magnum was introduced in 1964. It is one of my favorite calibers now. But I only was introduced to 41's in the late 80's.

    I suspect the Herter knives were just fine for outdoor's men. These were the early days of Cabelas and Gander Mountain. They took a lot of the "wind out of Herter's sails" when they started up.
     
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    It doesn't by today's standards. The Herter stuff was all about function and marketing things as the best... best handle material, best steel and so forth. Knives have changed a lot since the 70's in terms of design. But from a practical use perspective, I think it is hard to beat the pictured knife as well as the skinner they sold.
     
  11. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    Thanks for the memories Torque guy. Reading catalogs like yours and dreaming about picking out different knives , fishing and camping gear that I couldn't afford occupied much of my time as a kid. Not being able to buy any then is part of the reason my collection is way too big now.
     
    22-rimfire likes this.
  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Here Here!! Our experiences as children have a profound impact on what we seek to acquire as adults and often we don't even need it. As a kid, I didn't have much... hand me downs etc, and when I grew up, my underware, socks, shirts, jeans, and who knows what else swelled dramatically to the point of excess because all I had when I was young was mostly crap. But it was all stuff I used. I really didn't get a lot of camping gear until I got married and camping became a big joint outdoor activity along with axes/hatchets, knives, photography, and hiking.
     
  13. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    This is not cool. Old George was selling the identical to the bowie, called The Bull Cook, same exact knife as the bowie, but this one sold for $1.85. He got an extra $.05 from us suckers that fell for the bowie BS

    Great memories. We scavenged the neighborhood for bottles which were turned in for eventual knife money. I remember carefully printing out the order form, going to the library and paying $.10 for one copy for my 11 year olds records, then walking to the post office. Then came girls, gasoline and something else but I forget

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  14. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    I can pinpoint the precise time of the start of my knife addiction. 1967, i was 9 and would watch Tarzan on Sat mornings. He had a knife and he could kill crocodiles and start fires, all with that knife.

    I knew I must have one.

    My parents vetoed the idea and at nine I was screwed flat out. So, I made my first one from a tunafishcan lid, a bit of broomstick and shoe lace. Only had hacksaw and it took hours to split 3” of broomwood. 50 years later I make this. The funny part is after 500+ knives and 50 years later, I still don’t enjoy any knife as much as my first one. And this one has a slight gap between bolster and back of blade. Must continue to improve...

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
    Rupestris and Lesknife like this.
  15. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    I stand corrected. George got $1.40 for the Bull Cook knife. Not $.05 but $.50 more. That hurts George
     
  16. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    Still my favorite edc for working in the garden

    [​IMG]
     
  17. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    804
    May 13, 2019
    Fantastic memories and some great pics. Love your original knife and sheath Torqueguy. Thanks for a trip down memory lane.
     
    torqueguy likes this.
  18. Pteronarcyd

    Pteronarcyd

    181
    Feb 19, 2019
    Dad had a couple books written by Herter that I found fascinating. They were not works of literary genius, but rather each a hodge-podge collection of outdoor tips. There was no organization at all, just a disjointed bullet list of experiences expanded into one or a few paragraphs each. Dad saw me reading one and laughed a bit, telling me the books were a means by which Herter could justify each of his hunting or fishing trips as being a tax deductible business expense. What he couldn't justify as being directly related to his store and catalog operation could be justified as a research expense for one of his books. The guy was clearly a genius, by getting Uncle Sam to subsidize his outdoor recreation time.

    It appears the Herter was a fairly prolific author:

    https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripboo...George+Leonard+Herter&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1

    I perused the above list, but could not identify either of the books that captivated me (the two pro guide manuals perhaps?). Most of his book titles are rather tightly focused.
     
  19. torqueguy

    torqueguy Pocket Puukko Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    233
    Oct 19, 2007
    I do remember the books. Was fascinating to me as a kid that he got away with what he did. The other cool capitalist is JR Cigar. Guy from my old neighborhood in Jersey. He started with a little cigar shop and turned it into a pre internet goldmine. You would phone in your credit card once and once a month he would send you a divorcefull of cigars. Outstanding, moist cigars. Another vice
     
    Pteronarcyd likes this.
  20. coinbuysell

    coinbuysell Gold Member Gold Member

    685
    Mar 29, 2014
    That's a beautiful Colt .22 auto, I inherited a Ruger that is very similar looking but probably worlds apart in function although it is nice to shoot.
     
    torqueguy likes this.

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