Item:
ONSV24KHE178

Original U.S. WWII EK Model 7 Fighting Knife With Correct Scabbard by John Ek of Hamden Connecticut - Excellent Condition

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. During World War II, John Ek started manufacturing knives for American soldiers. He was committed to providing high-quality combat knives to those who needed them the most. He took great care to ensure that all the knives he produced went to active military personnel. Additionally, he employed people with physical disabilities to make the knives. This practice started in 1941 when he hired 40 individuals with disabilities and continued until his death in 1967. We are excited to offer the rare John Ek Model 7 knife in near unissued condition. There is light wear present though it does not appear to have ever been used in the field. The grip, blade , markings and sheath are all in wonderful condition with all of the fine details still present. The knife’s serial number is present and reads as 7J487.

The first number on the blade is the model number (7); the subsequent numbers are the serial number, preceded by a letter of the alphabet (J).

Starting with the 1,000th knife, the letter A preceded the serial number. Serial numbers following the alphabetical prefix went up to 999 prior to shifting over to the next letter of the alphabet.

For example, this knife numbered 7J487 means this is a Model 7, serial number J487.
The Ek family recalled that numbering of the Connecticut knives was kept separate
for each model. However, it is now believed that the numbering system ran through all models as a group, rather than each model, separately.

EK, a skilled marketer, employed two successful strategies in promoting his knives. One involved obtaining legal permission from the British government to sell his products as "Commando" knives, while the other entailed naming his Model 8 fighting knife the "Paratrooper." He also renamed his Model 6 knife as the "Patton" knife after discovering that it was General Patton's and his staff's preferred tool. The EK knives were not produced en masse through a government contract but were distributed via authorized civilian dealers and the PX. To be approved for production and sold in the PX, the knives had to receive a government stamp of approval and be serial numbered. Additionally, a form requesting your name, rank, service number, branch of service, etc., had to be filled out to obtain a knife. The EK knives were guaranteed for life.

The original EK knives were made of Nickel-Chrome-Molybdenum Steel, likely 4340, which provided durability and some rust resistance. During the war, 4340 steel was scarce as it was commonly used in aircraft manufacturing. The government's decision to allow EK to continue using this steel in his knives was a testament to their quality. EK opted to use maple wood handles in place of compressed leather washers and affixed them to the full tang with lead-filled rivets, which could be pounded back into the handle if it became loose. EK believed that wood handles would resist rot better than leather. Additionally, each knife came with sandpaper to allow soldiers to customize the grip to fit their hand as desired, rather than relying on a factory-made grip.

The leather sheaths were simple and held together with rivets and leather lacing, but they were often replaced by higher-quality sheaths. Presently, these sheaths would not be considered jump-certified as they lacked tie-downs. Nevertheless, EK prioritized ease of access to the knife during critical moments, which is why he did not include crossbars in most of his knives and sheaths rarely had a tie-down or snap to hold the knife in place. EK believed that crossbars and tie-downs could impede the swift retrieval of a knife, which is why he opted for a design that allowed a knife to be easily pulled out of its sheath.

This is an exceptional condition rare example that is ready for further research and display.

Dimensions:
Blade Length: 7”
Grip Length: 5”
Total Length: 12 1/2”
Scabbard Length: 8” + Belt Loop

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