Old Cattaraugus Knife


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JohnKSa
September 29, 2013, 01:42 AM
Brought this back from the inlaws. We were up there helping them get ready to move and they didn't want to take it.

It's marked "Cattaraugus Cutlery Co Little Valley" on both blades but there is no pattern number anywhere. The handle is bone.

Closed length is 3". The large blade is 1 3/4" and the small blade is 1 1/8"

Anyone have any idea when it might have been made or why it isn't stamped with a pattern number?

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189458&stc=1&d=1380429626

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189459&stc=1&d=1380429626

It will go to either a grandkid or great-grandkid of the person who owned it. I'm just trying to get some information to pass along with it.

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hso
September 29, 2013, 09:17 AM
What are all the markings on the blade tangs?

Is there a number sequence anywhere? Do the blades share a single backspring or is there a backspring for each? The All About Pocket Knives site (go-to for older folders) says the following - "Most Cattaraugus knives have a series of numbers stamped on the tang that represent certain characteristics. On a typical knife, the number will consist of four to six digits. The first digit indicates the number of blades on the knife, the second represents the type of bolsters on the knife, the next 1, 2, or 3 signify the factory pattern number, and the last indicates the handle material." http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/cattaraugus/cattaraugus_num_system.php

Their pattern "library" is here --http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/cattaraugus/cattaraugus_pattern_numbers/two_bladed_knives.php

Look at the 22229 image. If the 22 pattern is a match you may have a 22228 (two blade, two bolster, pattern 22, white bone).

JohnKSa
September 29, 2013, 08:37 PM
Both the small and large blade are marked exactly (including layout, capitalization and punctuation) as follows:

CATTARAUGUS
CUTLERY Co.
LITTLE VALLEY
N.Y.

The word "CATTARAUGUS" is laid out in an upwards convex arc, the others are laid out in lines perpendicular to the long axis of the blade.

Below is a closeup (sorry for the quality) of the markings from the large blade. The small blade is marked identically, but the N.Y. is partially obscured by the bolster.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189471&stc=1&d=1380498589

There are no other markings AT ALL on the knife and the blade condition is good enough that it is possible to say with certainty that no stampings have been obliterated by rust or pitting.

The blades share a single backspring. The pins/rivets holding the scales on are brass as are the liners, but the bolsters are a silver metal that matches the blade pivots in appearance.

The scales are jigged bone and the knife is a sleeveboard pattern (tapered handle).

Blade lengths and profiles are probably original. There's no evidence of a broken tip, or that the knife has been sharpened very much, if at all. I have looked at a few knives from this particular owner and the evidence suggests that he never sharpened his knives.

Based on the numbering system, had the knife been stamped with a number (it is not stamped) it would have been 22XX9

It is similar to the 22229 but is shorter at only 3" long closed. Also, there is no shield emblem on either scale.

It's tempting to think that it's an older model from before they started using the numbering system and the shield emblem, but it's also possible that they just didn't stamp all their knives with a number.

hso
September 29, 2013, 09:08 PM
Dunno.

The white bone is too smooth to have been jigged unless it is very very worn, but I've seen some very worn antiques that the jigging was clearly evident.
Look how closely it resembles this one, but it has the medallion.
http://www.rubylane.com/item/669694-2130/Early-Cattaraugus-Cutlery-Company-Stag

JohnKSa
September 29, 2013, 10:08 PM
The pictures are misleading. The jigging is worn, but it's still completely unmistakeable when the knife is examined in person.

Yes, that one is very similar to the one I have.

It's a hair too long, but other than that, the only other differences I see are that the stamping is C.C.C. instead of spelling out the company name as on the knife I have and that the opening grove is different on the large blade.

This knife has a fingernail cutout (common nail mark) on both blades, the knife in your link has a common nail mark on the small blade and a rectangular groove (french nail mark) on the large blade.

I can't tell for certain but the knife in the link doesn't appear to have a pattern number stamped on either blade.

hso
September 30, 2013, 02:13 AM
Neat! I enjoy these old puzzles.

JohnKSa
October 1, 2013, 12:18 AM
It is interesting on several levels.

It's an old knife, good quality that was obviously carried a lot based on the worn covers and yet it appears that it was never sharpened.

I also started trying to find a little information on the company and that turned out to be pretty interesting too. Apparently the two Case companies and Cattaraugus had intertwined histories.

Given the lack of "datable" information, the best I can do is to tell the recipient that it's at least 50 years old since the factory closed in 1963.

My gut feeling is that it's significantly older than that but I simply can't find any information that would confirm the feeling.

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