Is giving a knife bad luck?

Folklore, wives’ tales, myths and legends- some of us find them fascinating, while others dismiss them as bunk.

What about you? Do you throw salt over your shoulder when it’s spilled? How about- do you say, “God Bless You” when someone sneezes? Do you walk around the ladder? Do you ever- knock on wood? Or, think twice about getting out of bed on Friday, the 13th? OK then, what about feeling lucky when you find a horse shoe?

Did you know there is a superstition about giving knives?

Yes, let’s just call this bit of folklore- “Bad Luck.”

In a nutshell it goes like this- when you give a knife- you better also exchange something that can be considered a form of payment at the time of the gift, otherwise, the relationship of the giver and recipient will be severed.

You say you don’t buy it and think all these superstitions are a bunch of bunk? OK, no prob. Each is entitled to his own opinion on whether there is any truth to them or not.

But don’t forget to kiss your loved one at midnight this New Year’s Eve… wouldn’t you hate to miss out if this one is true?

Published in: on December 17, 2009 at 10:07 am  Comments (5)  
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Sixth Grader Kicked Out Of School For Knife In Her Purse

Here we go again. Got another case of a school grossly overreacting and guess what- it didn’t happen in Massachusetts or California. No, it happened a little closer to home for me- yeap, right here in Sweet Home Alabama.

The incident when down like this- a sixth grade girl was suspended for 103 days because she brought a knife to school in her purse.

The story, as reported on WKRP TV, has the typical tit for tat with the school officials defending the severity of their decision- based it on the character of the child, previous discipline- even going back to the young lady’s kindergarten records, and statements obtained by her teacher and other children.

Play-doh set with knife

Good grief- they are using her behavior as a 5-year-old to defend suspending her as a 12-year-old.

What did she do back then- cut up another little girl’s play-doh doll with the little plastic knife that comes with the set?

Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Knife Collector’s Christmas Dilemma

Christmas isn’t about getting presents, we all know that and yet, receiving gifts is still very much a part of it.

You may be getting a knife for Christmas. That’s the good news. The bad news is most of our family members don’t know a Spyderco from a C. Platts.

“What’s the big deal?” you ask. Well, we knife collectors have honed our knife collection down to either a specific type knife, handle material, make or era. While we like knives, we’ve kind of gotten particular.

So what do you do when someone is going to buy you a knife for Christmas?

In our family, we used to ask each other what they wanted so we didn’t buy them something they’d just use at next year’s Dirty Santa party. Asking each other in advance is a good way to get what the other person wants.

But what if you collect knives that can’t be purchased at Smoky Mountain? What are you then to do?

I’ll tell you how it works at my house. We buy our own presents, well my wife and I do anyway. Yeah, each of us will buy the other person something, but we buy our own “big” gift and then it is given to us by the other person…we just buy it for them to give to us.

But when you buy yourself a knife and it represents the present from your wife or kids, then you better watch out. This is exactly what happened to me last year.

The Knife Collector’s Christmas Dilemma

Last year I bought me an old stag Case Brothers toenail. I really didn’t buy it for Christmas, per se, instead it came my way right before Christmas, so instead of buying it and then sticking it in my collection, I decided to use it as the gift from my family to me.

Looking back, I’d been better off putting it in my knife display, then gone and bought me a Buck knife as my Christmas gift instead, because when it came my time to open my present, I knew exactly what my wife was going to say. I just knew it. But I only thought about this dilemma after I’d wrapped it and stuck it under our tree. Too late to do anything about it then.

Sure enough. Round the family we went. The way it works is the person opening the gift must announce who gave it to him/her and then hold it up for all to see. Well, it came my time and I realized I shouldn’t have made this knife a gift.

As I opened it, I announced it was from the family. Then I held it up and quickly looked to my daughter to my right and said, “Your turn.”  Then it came. That dreaded question. No sooner had I held it up when my wife said-

“Oh, that’s nice. How much was it?”

Take the advice of an old knife collector and when you want a knife to add to your collection, buy it and stick it in your display. I know the temptation is strong to make it part of Christmas, but don’t do it. You can rationalize it by saying you are going to spend money on a gift anyway, so why not get a knife for your collection at the same time, and I know that. Just don’t do it. It is not a good way to start off Christmas Day. Trust me.

Speaking of buying knives and getting into hot water, one day I’ll tell you the story about buying the A. B. Haines Elephant Toenail Collection. It’s been going on 10 years now, I guess it’s time to see the humor in it.

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 7:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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Interview with Tom Marino- George Schrade fan and Push Button Knife Collector

Collector Tom Marino holding a New York Knife Co. display knife

Met a new collector friend at Parkers Show near Gatlinburg, Tn on Friday. As I roamed the isles, I passed Tom Marino’s table and couldn’t help but notice this huge New York Knife Co. display knife featured front and center. It was etched “Hammer Brand” and had bails on both ends so it could be hung.

Tom is a member of the Northeast Cutlery Collector Association and sets up at shows throughout the eastern-half of the country. As I admired his NYKC display knife, we got to talking. He is a huge George Schrade and Push Button Knife fan. The minute he started telling me about them, I recognized his passion immediately and pulled out my iPhone to record all the nuggets.

Allow me to introduce Tom Marino, as he shares his passion for the Push Button Knife and George Schrade, its inventor.

This interview is posted at the CutleryNewsJournal YouTube Channel.

Cutlery History- Case Brothers Cutlery Company Wood Knife Box

My mind’s on knife history right now. I’ve always heard if you think on a thing a lot you develop ruts in your mind and your thinking tends to run along those lines, so I guess this is why my last few post have related to cutlery company history.

The second reason cutlery history is top of mind for me right now- I found a knife box at Parkers Knife Show yesterday. This knife box is different from the typical old paper box commonly found. Yep. This is a wood knife box. Rarely will you find a wooden knife box.

On top of that most knife boxes are made for a single knife, whereas this knife box was used to contain up to at least a dozen knives. How cool is that?! But wait- it gets even better!

Wood Case Brothers Knife Box c.1907/1908

Case Brothers Cutlery Company

This knife box was used by Case Brothers Cutlery Company (c.1900- 1914). You probably already know Case Brothers is one of my all-time favorite old knife companies. This box is guesstimated to have been used around 1907/08 based on its reference to their Kane, Pa. factory.

Marked Pattern No. 6250  1/2 Dozen

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you this particular box contained a half dozen of their 6250 pattern (their “bone stag” handle material number) knives. Do you know what knife that is? The answer is what we call the Elephant Toenail, of course. As we’ve discussed in Pieces of cutlery history travel down through time together, you know anytime I can link  items from cutlery history I am ecstatic, and particularly, when one of the items is my favorite knife.

1904 Case Brothers Cutlery Co. '50 catalog listing

Case Family & American Cutlery History Video Documentary by Brad Lockwood Part II

Today is Part II of the video documentary by Brad Lockwood, the great-great-great grandson of Job Case- the patriarch and icon of the Case family cutlers.

This two-part series is much like a cliff notes narrated version of his fantastic book, “Tested XX – The Case Cutlery Dynasty.” Brad does an excellent job providing us footage of many of the historic homes and knife factory sites in Little Valley, NY- “The Village of Knives,” in addition to Case family history. Members of the Case family either worked for or started 32 different knife companies over the years.

If you missed Part I, here it is. Check it out. You will like it.

Published in: on December 11, 2009 at 7:52 am  Comments (3)  
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iKnifePromotions works with BladesSports International

Not long ago, I worked with Mantis Knife Company to produce a knife video for the introduction of their super cool Jryo-1 knife- a space-age design that just makes a lot of sense. I met Jared West, the founder of Mantis Knife Company, when I bought this knife at the 2009 Blade Show.

Subscribers of CNJ know I am into anything related to promoting knife ownership and the hobby of knife collecting through technology, including the web. One of the ways I do this is through a marketing and media company founded to assist knife companies and makers called iKnifePromotions.

Got a call from Jared today and he wants me to produce a video for BladesSports. If you aren’t familiar, BladeSports provides workshops and cutting competitions and Mantis Knife Co. is a primary sponsor.

Ted Ott cutting through all the bottles and 12oz. can.

Photo credit: Mantis Knife Company and KnifeWebGuides

Case Family & American Cutlery History Video Documentary by Brad Lockwood Part I

Introducing a two-part video series on the Case Knife Family

Brad Lockwood, great-great-great grandson of Job Case- the patriarch and icon of the Case family cutlers- produced these videos for all Case and American cutlery history fans to enjoy.

This series is much like a cliff notes narrated version of his fantastic book, “Tested XX – The Case Cutlery Dynasty.” Brad does an excellent job providing us footage of many of the historic homes and knife factory sites in Little Valley, NY- “The Village of Knives,” in addition to Case family history. Members of the Case family either worked for or started 32 different knife companies over the years.

Stay tuned for Part II later this week.

Outlaw knives and then you get Pit Bulls!

Vicious: Seizures of pit bull terriers have soared to record levels as gangs swap knives and guns for dogs

Obviously it wasn’t the knife to begin with. No, it was the bad guys who are the problem and now they have replaced their EDC with a different lethal weapon.

Yes, it’s true. Reported in today’s Mail Online, England police now have their hands full trying to keep up with the record levels of this new weapon. The RSPCA has called for a crackdown on the powerful animals and other illegal breeds to tackle the growing risk to the public.
Photo credit: ALAMY

Published in: on December 7, 2009 at 12:04 am  Comments (2)  
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Cutlery History- Every puzzle piece helps

Let’s see a show of hands of how many of you like to learn about cutlery life in the early 1900s?

I’m excited. Got me a new picture book yesterday off eBay and can’t wait to look at it. It’s a 224 page manufacturer’s catalog of cutlery factory equipment from 1918.

While I don’t expect it to paint much of a picture of working in a factory back then- it will provide a glimpse. And every little puzzle piece helps.

Sounds dry, you say? Maybe. But nothing like the 493 page The Cutlery Trades by G. I. H. Lloyd of 1913. Now that book will make your eyes roll back in your head- lots of charts and tables, and no pictures.

Published in: on December 6, 2009 at 9:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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