When Pretty Good Knives were Free!


November 9, 2012, 12:27 PM


Russell Folding Palette knife
The one in the middle was made by J. Russell & Co, in business from 1834 to 1873, when the company went bankrupt.
It was reorganized and by 1877 made 400+ patterns of knives.
Then in the 1930’s, the company went bankrupt again and didn’t survive the great depression.

This one is very high quality, and it still walks & talks like a good folder should!
It has a 4 ¼” thin flexible blade, rosewood scales, and is blade etched:
Compliments John A. McDonald Paint & Glass Co.
The business was located in Kansas City Mo in 1879.

In other words, they gave them away to customers.
That’s a far cry from the wooden paint stirrer sticks they give you now, if you are lucky and remember to ask for one!!

Folding Salami Knife
The bottom one was made by Colonial, Prov. RI probably in the 1950’s.
4 ¾” stainless lightly serrated blade.
Scale is marked:
M&M Packing Company, Inc.
Iola Kansas
I remember that company as a boy.
It was a butchering plant that also rented freezer storage lockers where farmers could store the meat from cattle & hogs M&M processed for them.

Mystery Knife
The top little pen knife is one of the very few “Mystery Knives” I have seen.
It has a 2” blade that the uninitiated would probably find impossible to open.
* Blade facing up - push on blade to open knife.
* Blade facing down - push on blade to lock knife closed.

The trick is a small sliding pin in a slot in the liners, and a hook on the blade tang that engages it.
One way, the pin falls out of the hook, and the other way, it falls in.
Celluloid scales are stamped with the name & address of a clothing store in Garnett Kansas that went out of business many years ago.
Made by Imperial, it has two patent numbers on the tang.
#2170537 issued in 1936.
#2281782 issued in 1939.
Both relate to a cheaper better way to make pocket knives.

Imperial called them the New Jiffy-Jack Master" and referred to them as a "low priced yet thoroughly practical automatic knife" in their 1936 catalog.
In the 1937-38 catalog they were given a MSRP of .25-.29 cents.
In the 1952 catalog, they were subtitled "Mystery Knife" and included ad copy:
"Frequently referred to as a "mystery" or "trick" knife, the "JIFFY JACK-MASTER" has strong appeal as a gift item, souvenir, a premium, or as an advertising give away.

Again, a far cry from today when you are lucky to have a merchant give you the correct change & a smile, let alone a halfway decent or unique pocket knife!


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November 9, 2012, 04:08 PM
Not seeing images here?

November 9, 2012, 04:12 PM
Hmmmm? :confused:

It's working here.


November 9, 2012, 04:29 PM
Image good here.
I got few freebies around somewhere. Makes you wonder how the did it.

November 9, 2012, 04:54 PM
No images here either

November 9, 2012, 04:58 PM
Maybe Photobucket is acting up again??

It was acting real slow at times the last couple of days.

Anyway, it is still a working photo here.


November 9, 2012, 05:33 PM
Your other threads are coming through fine. I'm not techy and have no idea why it's a mixed bag for who is seeing them here. I don't see any dead links to images or obvious spaces where images are missing or anything, just the text.

November 9, 2012, 08:10 PM

I just moved the picture down from the first line in the post.

Did that help any??


November 9, 2012, 08:26 PM
I saw/see them the first time.. still see them. Maybe it's the new McCracken tweak.. it took me five "refreshes" for it to "take" yesterday.. I'd hit refresh and there was a ghost (just a figure of speech) flicker of the screen trying to do what it's doing now but not quite taking.

November 9, 2012, 08:51 PM
When I worked in the paper mills the felt salesmen would hand out knives. I still have one and use it as a back-up while hunting. It is good steel and holds an edge pretty well.

Owen Sparks
November 9, 2012, 08:58 PM
Promotional items have become too expensive. We used to give away lots of stuff with our company name but prices have gone through the roof in the last few decades.

November 9, 2012, 11:37 PM
Last such knives I recall were those little plastic key shaped jobs with basically a single edge injector razor blade that slid out. Darn things worked fine until they broke when you really needed them. The company names were on clear stickers and you ordered them by the gross from [laces that sold company marked pencils and such. Last one I had some Sci FI convention huckster had mad up with the words "Tardis Key" on them and as my then current lady was a big Doctor WHo fan we had matching keys. I know, I know....

What happend to the thread on Steel Pots....they certainly were discribed as a weapon in one use in the old combatives manual!

WHile I was writing a long winded kBob response the thread seems to have dissappeared!


November 10, 2012, 11:33 AM
Yes, they were.

We even trained with them as such in bayonet & hand to hand combat training in 1964.

I had an old SFC drill instructor who had barely survived a human wave attack in Korea.
He looked like he had been in a chainsaw fight from all the chi-com bayonet scars all over his body.

He could take your M14 away from you with one hand, and knock you out of your combat boots with his steel helmet with the other.
Before you could blink twice!

And he pulled his punches so he wouldn't kill one of us with it! :D


November 10, 2012, 01:06 PM
Yep I remember them still giving them away through the mid 1970s in Arkansas.

November 11, 2012, 06:30 AM
Follow all your threads and this is the only one I have image problems with. Still can't see the images. I'm using Google Chrome for the browser.

Update: they're visible in Internet Explorer.

November 11, 2012, 11:07 AM
I just tried it with Google Chrome and they work for me.

Must be a setting turned off in yours or something.


Sam Cade
November 11, 2012, 05:24 PM
No images here.

November 11, 2012, 05:28 PM
Heres the direct link:

If that don't work I don't know what to tell you.

But the picture has been there since I posted it using IE9, Firefox, and Google Chrome on my PC.


November 12, 2012, 04:05 PM
They(pics) work fine for this old timer.

November 12, 2012, 07:41 PM
The direct link works, thanks for sharing :)

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