Original U.S. WWI M1917 Trench Knife by L.F. & C. dated 1917 with Jewell Scabbard dated 1918

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This very good condition Model 1917 trench knife has a wood handle, triangular stiletto blade, and leather scabbard with standard GI Pistol belt hook attachment.

The top of the guard is is nicely marked:

L.F. & C.

Landers, Frary, and Clark (L.F. & C.) began in 1853 as Landers & Smith Manufacturing Company, and in 1862 became known as Landers, Frary & Clark. They were in New Britain, Connecticut, and made a number of house hold items, as well as items for the military. They closed their doors in 1965.

Notable features of this example:

• Triangular 9" steel blade, which is in excellent condition. Definitely one of the best we have ever seen, with minimal wear on the corners, and just a bit of damage to the tip. Original finish is very well retained.
• Very good condition wood grip. It does show wear and some staining, but no cracks or major chips. The original milling texture can still be see, and it shows only light wear.
• Good condition spiked steel hand guard, with no major dents or bends. It does however show wear and oxidation, with loss of the finish on both the inside and out. The original finish is probably retained at 50%, with areas of oxidation.
• Original steel and brass fitted leather scabbard, which is faintly marked JEWELL 1918. Scabbard is in good condition with nice leather that still has much of the original finish. There is some wear to the leather and fittings, which are now somewhat loose due to shrinking.
• Standard pistol belt brass attachment hook, though the finish has worn to an oxidized patina.

Overall condition is very good, with a great patina of age. There is no play in the the crossguard or handle. A great addition to any military knife collection. Read to display!

The first official U.S. trench knife adopted for service issue was the U.S. M1917 trench knife designed by Henry Disston & Sons, and based on examples of trench knives then in service with the French Army. The M1917 featured a triangular stiletto blade, wooden grip, metal knuckle guard, and a rounded pommel. The M1917 proved unsatisfactory in service, and a slightly improved version, the M1918, was adopted within months. Despite this, the M1918 is almost identical to the M1917, differing primarily in the construction and appearance of the knuckle guard. Usable only as stabbing weapons, the M1917 and M1918 frequently suffered broken blades. Their limited utility and general unpopularity caused the AEF to empanel a testing board in 1918 to test various trench knives and select a replacement.

Blade length: 9”
Overall length: 14”
Scabbard length: 9 7/8"
Handguard: 4 1/2”x 5”

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