Original U.S. WWI M1917 Trench Knife by L.F. & C. dated 1917 with Scabbard
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. This blade is very good condition, with some of the original finish remaining. The rest has been removed by cleaning or by removal of rust. The tip is still mostly intact, which is uncommon as they usually are bent or broken off.
• Good condition wood grip. It does show wear and some staining, but no cracks or major chips. Shows light use.
• Good condition spiked steel hand guard, with no major dents or bends. It does however show wear and oxidation, with some past pitting. The original finish is probably retained at 60%
• Leather scabbard, which is in good condition with nice leather that still has some of the original finish. The leather is still soft, and has some of the original green paint still present, though it looks to have been replaced at some point. The throat is marked M.S., a marking often seen on these knives. The brass rivets attaching the leather body to the throat are a bit loose.
• 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.
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