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Thread: The Story Behind America’s First Hunting Knife

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    ədˈminəˌstrātər hawgrider's Avatar
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    The Story Behind America’s First Hunting Knife

    The history of Marble’s knives and their impact on outdoor cutlery for the last 120 years

    In the years after the Civil War, “hunting” knives tended to follow one of three patterns—heavy-duty folders, traditional Bowie knives, and small utilitarian butchering type blades. Outdoor writers of the period all ridiculed the Bowies as being strictly, “Billy the Kid, dime-novel fantasies.” As for the butcher knives and the folders, they got the job done, but they didn’t have much flash. Then came Webster Marble.

    Marble almost singlehandedly turned the hunting knife into a must-have piece of outdoor gear for the well-turned-out sportsman. This started in 1899 with the Ideal model, which was available in a variety of blade lengths from 4 to 8 inches. While stag slabs were available at extra cost, most were handled in a feature pioneered by Marble—stacked leather washers. All had clip-point blades and a deeply-fullered edge grind (not a blood groove). Originally, the deep fuller was intended to allow the blade to be laid flat on a hone and sharpened something like a straight razor. Of course, the safety razor was soon to make the old cut-throats obsolete,
    https://www.fieldandstream.com/story...hunting-knife/
    "The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath." W. C. Fields

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    Marble made lots of goodies for sportspeople since the Jurassic period.

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    ədˈminəˌstrātər hawgrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootbrownelk View Post
    Marble made lots of goodies for sportspeople since the Jurassic period.
    I have an old Marbles that was in my dads stuff.
    "The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath." W. C. Fields

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    Marbles did make tang mounted peep sights for Marlin and Winchester lever action rifles. don't know if they still do. There are new Marbles knives for sale at our local gun shows. I'm always on the lookout for a tang mounted peep sight for my 1890 Winchester pump....that is reasonable in price.

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    Super Moderator rice paddy daddy's Avatar
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    I wish I had an original Marbles Ideal. When I was a kid, that was about the only fixed blade knife around.
    Carbon steel blade.

    Marbles is still around, but like most everything else, they are made off shore now. Smoky Mountain Knife Works carries the brand. www.smkw.com/brands/marbles
    They range in price from $12.95 to almost $700 for an original Marbles Ideal from the 1950's. They list about 300 knives, I have several.

    One of my favorite daily carries is the Marbles Cowboy Knife. It is made in China, but the steel is excellent and it is a well made knife. www.smkw.com/marbles-cowboy-knife I put mine in a better, all leather sheath, though.
    Member: VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America, Society of the 5th Infantry Division, American Legion, AMVETS, Sons of the American Revolution

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    Super Moderator rice paddy daddy's Avatar
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    There's some beautiful blades in that story, Hawg.
    I've got an original WWII US Navy MkII Ka-Bar with scabbard just like the picture. I found it in sad shape at a local gun store. The owner liked me, so I got it for $35 - the scabbard alone is worth that.
    My other Ka-Bar is a commercial model from the early 2000's.

    The last knife in the article, the Pilots Survival Knife, I have a current USGI issue made by Ontario Knife Co. I also got that from Smoky Mountain. (I spend a good bit of money there every year)

    Six guns, lever action rifles, and sheath knifes. It don't get any more American than that!
    Member: VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America, Society of the 5th Infantry Division, American Legion, AMVETS, Sons of the American Revolution

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    Many years ago my dad went to Gladstone Michigan to the Marbles Knife Company and bought two knives, one for me and the other for him, he had to go early in the year because they had a limit on how many stag knives they can make a year, once they meet that number their done making stag until the next year, the one he gave me was a little bigger than his, as you can see mine is as new, never been in the sheath, never been carried or messed with, I know some would say why have it if it's never going to be used, well for one it's from my dad and I have many many others and I'm happy I've kept it this way, even more now, I'm not not sure what happened to his as I cannot find it, he may have sold or given it away, I'll never know.

    Oh, this is very large, 7in blade and the handle fills my hand.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wow nice one right there! Them pony's are sweet too!
    "The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath." W. C. Fields

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    Doggone it Hawg,I saw the thread here and darn near thought you were the effing Tourist!.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MI.oldguy View Post
    Doggone it Hawg,I saw the thread here and darn near thought you were the effing Tourist!.
    OK that's funny right there I don't care who you are!
    "The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath." W. C. Fields

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