Original U.S. WWI Model 1917 Bolo Knife with Scabbard by American Cutlery Co - dated 1918

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a Model 1917 C.T. Bolo knife, manufactured by American Cutlery Company of Chicago, Illinois. 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 American Cutlery Co. of Chicago. The blade ricasso on this example is clearly marked:


The reverse is marked:


Blade and ricasso retain their lovely blackened color, and look like they may have been arsenal serviced for WWII. This example definitely has been sharpened several times, and possibly arsenal refinished. 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 now has a more uniform edge, after arsenal sharpening.

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


Scabbard is in very good condition and shows signs of little to no use. The wood grips are in very good condition. The ordnance flaming bomb is visible on the rear spine of the grip, as well as on the bottom of the cross guard.

Overall Very Fine, and a great chance to add to any military knife collection.

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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