Have you ever wondered how traditional knife patterns got their names? Well I have. Names like Congress, Trapper, Stockman, Moose, Cigar and heres a good one... Muskrat. Well who and when did these knifes get their names. Everyone may know the answer and I'm just in the dark on this, if not lets hear the reasons.

Views: 219

Tags: knife, patterns

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of iKnife Collector to add comments!

Join iKnife Collector

In Memoriam
Comment by Robert Burris on April 30, 2014 at 19:07

Thanks, I love history.

Comment by Jan Carter on April 30, 2014 at 19:03

The first known naming of the gunstock whittler with a nail file blade on the opposite side of this flat gentleman’s pattern was in an old New York Knife pattern book. Further investigation attributes the naming of the pattern to New York Knife Co. owner (and cutlery legend) Tom W. Bradley.

He was 19 years old in 1860 when he joined the 124th New York Regiment. At the battle of Chancellorsville he retrieved ammunition through galling Confederate fire, for which he would eventually be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. During the war he was wounded 3 times, including once at Gettysburg, and ended the war a Major. 
As the 124th was comprised primarily of men from the Walden area, within Orange County, NY, the regiment was named The Orange Blossoms. They proudly wore an orange backed patch on their uniform as designation of that fact. 

After the war when the knife pattern was born, the Orange Blossom became ultimate gentleman’s knife, the top knife in the line in the companies that produced it, the knife with the highest quality and usually the highest price. It is legend that Tom Bradley named it in honor of his Civil War regiment. 

Additionally, during the war Bradley became friends with a soldier in the 23nd Ohio that was often near them in battle. The man was William McKinley. Bradley would later become a U. S. Representative, and as a favor to Bradley McKinley sponsored the McKinley tariff which was the turning point in allowing the American cutlery industry to finally gain the upper hand over European import knives. 

It was this tariff that forced importers to start their own American factories. Among the names that started because of this was Camillus and Schatt & Morgan. 

One of the reasons that the Orange Blossom whittler is one of the most desired knives in vintage knife collecting is not just the knife itself—but within that single pattern is represented the brave men of the American Civil War and the emergence of the American cutlery industry as a whole.

Thought this was interesting, I read it on Bruce Voyles site


Comment by Jan Carter on November 27, 2011 at 17:47

The jackknife is reportedly named after Jacque de Liege.  He was a French knife maker who is said to have invented the first back-spring assembly.  The term is used today to describe many different types of knives.  It is most commonly used to describe any knife that has one or two blades that open on the same end.  It is also used to describe any knife that has two blades that open in opposite ends and measures more than roughly 3 1/2".  You will find that some folding knives do not have any special name and often go only by the generic name "Jack knife".  Note that premium jacks are slim, while regular jacks are wider in shape.

In Memoriam
Comment by Robert Burris on November 20, 2011 at 13:30

I think the Muskrat and Trapper were made for skinning small game but who came up with those names and whwn? I think some of the names came from England but not sure.

Comment by johnny twoshoes on November 17, 2011 at 9:15

This is a good question and one I have thought about myself. I think it comes down to uses, a knife company named a knife for it's intended use. As Jan said about the pen knife, a company I wouldn't name a pen knife a trapper knife. It's name association, I see a trapper knife, that knife is good at furtaking. I see a Muskrat and now I can skin Muskrats that much easier. It may just come down to sales, I think we all know that a Stockman could do the job of a trapper and vice versa. But, I'm a stockman, a ranch hand, I don't need a trapper.

I have a trapper knife for trapping, which means I'm going to be skinning on a regular basis. But if I hunt bigger game now I need a folding Hunter, because I can't trap this big game. Do you guys understand what I'm trying to say?

Some knives don't function as well as others, but I can get away with using a trapper on a stockman job. I think it may be just mind set for certain knives, the Barlow has history behind it as I'm sure the rest do as well, but I think the answer could be much more simple if we just ignored the mystique.


Comment by Jan Carter on November 15, 2011 at 18:45

The penknife was originally intended to sharpen quill pens, but continues to be used because of its suitability to fine or delicate work. A pen knife generally has one or two pen blades, and does not interfere with the appearance of dress clothes when carried in the pocket.

In Memoriam
Comment by Robert Burris on November 15, 2011 at 18:19

Thanks, thats what I'm trying to find out. Who came up with these names and when? This might take some research by our members unless someone has the answers.

Comment by Jan Carter on November 15, 2011 at 18:12

I read this about the Barlow Pattern:

The knife pattern goes back to the 1700s in Sheffield and was made famous by Obadiah Barlow. The Barlow family co went out of business at the very end of the 1700s but the knife had caught-on with several other manufactures by then. It was marketed primarily as a relatively inexpensive and sturdy knife for boys.

In Memoriam
Comment by Robert Burris on November 15, 2011 at 9:03

Thats right Alex, but who came up with these names and when. How did all these traditional names get started.

Comment by Alexander Noot on November 15, 2011 at 3:02

Some are pretty clear.....a gunstock....looks like the stock of a gun...


A peanut looks like an unshelled peanut. And it's tiny.


A Canoe looks like a canoe.


And a Cigar looks like a cigar. Beyond obvious things like that your guess is as good as mine.

White River Knives

Latest Activity

dead_left_knife_guy commented on Glenn Bright's photo
2 hours ago
J.J. Smith III commented on J.J. Smith III's status
4 hours ago
J.J. Smith III commented on Jan Carter's event 'SMKW Rep Weekend-**TN**'
4 hours ago
Jan Carter posted a status
"Good Night and God Bless all"
6 hours ago
Jan Carter commented on J.J. Smith III's status
7 hours ago
Jan Carter commented on Jan Carter's event 'SMKW Rep Weekend-**TN**'
7 hours ago
J.J. Smith III posted a status
"Perhaps all the criticism of eBay has paid off. Somehow I just won another Rough Rider RR323"
7 hours ago
Jan Carter replied to Bryan W's discussion The Lehigh Valley Knife Show of Easton, PA - September 28 & 29 - Back on Track!
10 hours ago
John Kellogg left a comment for Glenn Bright
11 hours ago
D ale commented on Glenn Bright's photo
17 hours ago
Glenn Bright posted photos
Glenn Bright joined Michael D Sabol's group
Bryan W posted a discussion
Bryan W commented on Jan Carter's event 'LEHIGH VALLEY KNIFE SHOW**PA**'
Bryan W commented on Jan Carter's event 'LEHIGH VALLEY KNIFE SHOW**PA**'
Bryan W is attending Jan Carter's event

LEHIGH VALLEY KNIFE SHOW**PA** at Charles Chrin Community Center of Palmer Township

September 28, 2019 at 6pm to September 29, 2019 at 7pm

Reed Cutlery Company

Visit Lee' s Cutlery

gear2survive !





JSR Sports!

Click to visit

© 2019   Created by Jan Carter.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service