I’ve already admitted to you earlier this week I am a gadget nut. I like unusual inventions. Today, if you want a knife gadget you get something like the Guppie by CRKT.
The newest ones are cool, but to most knife collectors our preference is even odder than that.
I have never considered myself a tool/wrench knife collector (probably like most folks who own knives, but don’t consider themselves collectors either), but let’s just say a have a few. The other odd fact is I’m not a tool guy at all, but even still I like old wrench and plier knives.
The other day, I ran across Multi-tool.org and their section on vintage wrenches & knife tools. I was reminded I had a couple.
These are the wrench knife combo made by the same knife company- the Cattaraugus Cutlery Company, Little Valley, NY. In fact, Tint Champlin, the son of founder, actually invented and patented their first knife wrench.
Now here’s the real deal. Pretty primitive looking isn’t it? The knife was only made for a couple of years and is extremely rare.
On the wrench part of the knife it has “PATENT APPLIED FOR.” The patent drawing shows a date of March 8, 1917, so who knows if it was before that or not. It was patented March 5, 1818.
Cattaraugus began selling the 1- W combo knife tool next and around 1920.
Around the same time came the 3- W (don’t know what happened to the 2-W?).
Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. catalog from 1922 actually shows this model as the earlier 3- W.
The other 3- W pictured in Levine’s 4th Edition is from the 1930s. The differences are the form/shape of the cap lifter. The more recent one is very pointed.
Here’s a 3- W that went off on eBay yesterday. It sold for $482.
Obviously, these knives were our modern-day tool’s predecessors. Thought you would enjoy.
I’m doing a little digging on the old plier knives too, but that is for another day.
Source: Dewey Ferguson’s Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. catalog reprint.