Original U.S. WWI M1917 Trench Knife by L.F. & C dated 1917 with Scabbard by Jewell dated 1918
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:
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. The blade has most of the original finish, probably around 75%, with the usual runner wear from the scabbard. There are some small bits of oxidation in places, but the blade is solid, and has clean edges with a sharp point. There are just a few small dents on the corners
• Very good condition wood grip. Almost no denting with a great color, and solid shape without the usual rounding from use.
• Good condition spiked steel hand guard, with no major dents or bends. It has a good deal of the original finish, though there is oxidation in areas.
• Leather scabbard marked JEWELL - 1918. Scabbard is in very good condition with great leather that still has almost all of the original green painted finish. The fittings have a lot of the original finish, with some wear and oxidation, and all rivets are intact. Throat and tip are both marked MB.
• Standard pistol belt brass attachment hook, with some original "blacked" finish in places.
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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