Original U.S. WWI Model 1917 Bolo Knife by Plumb Philadelphia with Canvas Scabbard by Brauer Bros. - dated 1918

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent condition Model 1917 C.T. Bolo manufactured by Fayette R. Plumb Inc, whose factory was in the Bridesburg region of Philadelphia, PA. They had another factory, just constructed, in St. Louis as well, and 1917 bolos were produced in both.

This model was a moderate simplification of the earlier 1910 Bolo made by Springfield Armory. The main difference is the lack of the catch mechanism on the scabbard and grip. It was manufactured by contractors such as Plumb and A.C. Co. The blade ricasso on this example is clearly marked:


The reverse is marked:

MOD. 1917

Blade and ricasso are in very good shape, with little of the original finish, and some oxidation closer to the edge. A few small dings to the blade edge are evident. The main edge of many 1917s, such as this one, is mostly ground from the factory from one side, while the other side was left flat. The edge on the tips and near the ricasso are ground from both sides. This example still has the original blade profile intact.

The grip is in very good condition, with most of the original "ribbed texture still present. The grip wood is a wonderful brown color, showing only a bit of wear and scratching, and it is solid on the grip, with both securing bolts still intact.

The leather tip of the canvas scabbard has a lovely aged brown color, and it still has the original manufacturer marking visible:


The scabbard is in very good condition, with no real issues with the canvas or leather portions aside from the expected wear from 100 years of age, and a bit of fabric shrinking. Really a great example of one of these scabbards.

Overall in near excellent condition, and a great chance to add to any military knife collection. Ready to display!

Blade Length: 10 1/4"
Blade Style: "Bolo" Machete
Overall length: 15“
Crossguard: 3 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 11"

A bolo is a large cutting tool of Filipino origin similar to the machete. It is used particularly in the Philippines, the jungles of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as in the sugar fields of Cuba.

The primary use for the bolo is clearing vegetation, whether for agriculture or during trail blazing. The bolo is also used in Filipino martial arts or Arnis as part of training.
Bolos are characterized by having a native hardwood or animal horn handle (such as from the carabao), a full tang, and by a steel blade that both curves and widens, often considerably so, at its tip. This moves the centre of gravity as far forward as possible, giving the bolo extra momentum for chopping.

So-called "jungle bolos", intended for combat rather than agricultural work, tend to be longer and less wide at the tip. Bolos for gardening usually have rounded tips.

It has been claimed by some historians that Lapulapu, during the Battle of Mactan, brandished a kampilan to kill Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, though other historians dispute this. The bolo was the primary weapon used by the Katipunan during the Philippine Revolution. It was also used by the Filipino guerrillas and bolomen during the Philippine–American War.

During World War I, United States Army soldier Henry Johnson gained international fame repelling a German raid in hand-to-hand combat using a bolo.

During World War II, the 1st Filipino Regiment was called the Bolo Battalion and used bolos for close quarters combat.

On 7 December 1972, would-be assassin Carlito Dimahilig used a bolo to attack former First Lady Imelda Marcos as she appeared onstage at a live televised awards ceremony. Dimahilig stabbed Marcos in the abdomen several times, and she parried the blows with her arms. He was shot dead by security forces while she was taken to a hospital.

The bolo serves as a symbol for the Katipunan and the Philippine Revolution, particularly the Cry of Pugad Lawin. Several monuments of Andres Bonifacio, as with other notable Katipuneros, depict him holding a bolo in one hand and the Katipunan flag in the other.

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