Meet Knife World’s Editor Mark Zalesky

Mark Zalesky

Mark Zalesky

Knife people are nice people, that’s what I have found. Knives are fun, yes, they are, but the people we are associated with while playing knives make it all the more fun.

Mark Zalesky, editor of Knife World, is one of these fun people. Extremely quick wit, great sense of humor, vast knowledge of knife history, love for the hobby. Sometimes a bit hard-headed, but a great guy and someone I count as a friend- knives or not. I love his editorials- Irons in the Fire. He can get fired up there every now and then too.

Recently, David Anthony, author of Tidioute- A Town With An Edge, interviewed Mark and agreed to share it with Cutlery News Journal for us to enjoy. If you know Mark you can actually hear his voice in his quotes, if you don’t, then you will by the time the interview wraps- up.

Mark's early favorites- MSA Safety Hunter

Mark's early favorites- MSA Safety Hunter

Rather than attempt to rewrite it and re-publish its images (some great knife shots included), I elected to post it as an attachment- PDF format. I hope you enjoy getting to know Mark. He’s a great guy and a Cutlery Hall of Famer, if there is such an organization. If not, he should be the first inductee.

Thanks David for providing this sit down with Mark, as well as your passion for our hobby!

Zalesky Interview PDF

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Tribute to Knife World Magazine

knife-world-logoWe are extremely fortunate. In the big scheme of things our world of knife collecting is but a speck in the universe of collectibles and yet, we have several monthly publications tailored specifically to our hobby.

My sentimental favorite is Knife World. I got started on it because I liked old pocket knives and to me, Knife World was the best fit. I have not been disappointed in a single issue. 

Knife World is balanced in its articles. Obviously, I lean toward Knife History- all things related to the who, what, when, where and why of the knives and the companies that made them. KW is the only pub that allows an emphasis on early American cutlery history.

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If you are new to collecting, or aren’t familiar, here’s what KW is all about-

“Each month, KNIFE WORLD offers a wide variety of information about knives …new knives, old knives, military knives, custom knives, factory knives, special issue knives, knife books, and more. You’ll learn about knifemakers, knife companies, knife values, knife history, and read stories of interest to all knife enthusiasts.”

Knife World isn’t about glitz, glamor or glossy cover stock. Instead, it is about quality content. 

Mark Zalesky Knife World EditorOne of my favorite sections is Mark Zalesky’s Irons in the Fire. There he lets it all hang out. No sacred cows. All is fair game. Fortunately he hasn’t taken aim my way yet, but may well one day.

 

You can also go to KnifeWorld.com and do an index search. Then you can order back issues til your heart is content. In the past they have published knifeworld_2042_4126163The Best of Knife World. These are truly gems. Find them if you can. There were three editions published.

I am fortunate to have most of 20 years of issues. I love to take the time to grab a few, hop in bed and read the dusty things. The articles are timeless. And while some of the past articles are more “meaty” than others, almost all have interesting knife factoids.

When you have time read how it all got started and KW’s history.

I’m thankful to have Knife World and hope you are too.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Who is Today’s Knife Collector?

 

23_mysteryman_lglWho is today’s knife collector? Well, this much we know- the various associations’ membership doesn’t represent all the knife collectors in the Knife World. The universe of collectors is much larger.

To me anyone who has a couple of knives and likes them is a collector. They may only get one, or two, a year, but are every bit as much a collector as I am.

We also know there are tens of thousands of knife enthusiasts online. Many of these knife lovers aren’t a part of any established club or association, and yet they are very much a part of the knife collector community too. 

 

bladepollclubmembershipBy the way, did you notice the results of the recent BladeMag.com Poll- over half indicated they are not part of any knife club or organization. 

 

 

It is for this reason last week we started the Knife Community Survey. We are not trying to stereotype collectors; instead we are trying to find out who they are today, and a little about them. These collectors are a part of our knife community too.

Thanks for helping out. And as you are out in the Knife World, please let others know about the survey.

All the types of knives and the firms that made them

You know by now, I enjoy reading through old cutlery publications and early American knife company history. I’d like to start this week off by sharing with you something I found extremely interesting.

But first let me ask you-

Can you imagine how difficult it would be to attempt to classify all the different kinds of knives made around 1900, in addition to identifying all the different cutlery firms that made each kind?

Do we even know how many different types of knives were made back then? Plus, how exactly do we know a knife’s intended use? All you have to do is read Bernard Levine’s Whut Izzit? column in Knife World each month and his expert attempt at identifying and classifying knives (among other things) to see how difficult it must be.

Cutlery makers and the types of knives they made

cutlerymakersofamer1919headingRecently, while I was doing my pleasure reading, I came across a classification of all knives made around that time. It was published in September 1919 and was compiled by The Cutlery Publishing Company, publishers of The American Cutler.

The publication is The Cutlery Makers of America.

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“Official Directory of the Cutlery Trade of the United States classified according to the kinds of knives and blades made, constituting a reliable and comprehensive handbook for cutlery buyers at home and abroad.”

While there are no pictures (other than in the advertisements), the list of the types/classifications of knives is very interesting.

Today, we may call a certain type of knife by another name, or no name at all, but this directory lists the types of knives and the firms who made each as classified by this official directory.

Take for example this classification- Pocket Knives: Advertising-

  • Canton Cutlery Co., Canton, Ohio
  • D. Divine & Sons, Ellenville, N. Y.
  • Golden Rule Cutlery Co., Chicago, Ill.
  • Lackawanna Cutlery Co., Nicholson, Pa.
  • Novelty Cutlery Co., Canton, Ohio
  • Schrade Cutlery Co., Walden, N. Y.
  • United Cutlery Co., Canton, Ohio
  • Wiebush & Hilger, New York

Incidentally, the next classification in the directory is Pocket Knives: Advertising- Safety Push Button- The sole maker listed is Schrade Cutlery Co., Walden, N. Y.

And, Pocket Knives: Revolver- U. S. Small Arms Co., Rochester, N. Y. (I wonder if they made the one for Case Brothers too?)

Today, I simply wanted to introduce this invaluable directory for those of us into American cutlery history. I’ll highlight a couple of other topics you will like later this week.

Published in: on December 15, 2008 at 6:30 am  Comments (3)  
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A Thousand Words

C Platts Jumbo Swellcenter

 

“A picture is worth a thousand words” isn’t that what they say?

 

 

Well, what if you are like me and struggle with capturing quality shots of knives in our collection. 

Our friend Mark Zalesky, the editor of Knife World, was kind enough to provide us with a step-by-step outline of how to capture just the right image. It is a reprint of an article he wrote for Knife World. If you are interested here it is- photographyarticle.

One of the many benefits to collectors of the Internet and advancements in technology is our ability to share images with ease. I know of collectors who, when a dealer wanted to sale a knife, had to wait on hard-copy photos sent via the postal service. Can you imagine having to wait to see a knife you thought you were ready to buy? Fortunately we now we live in the Age of Information Acceleration.

Good luck and hope you find Mark’s article helpful.

Published in: on August 29, 2008 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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