Product Description: This U.S. WWI M1917 Trench Knife is the finest conditioned one we have had the opportunity to own. It features a correct triangular 9″ black steel blade, that retains more than 90% of its original finish. There are typical runner marks from being in and out of the scabbard, and slight wear to the tip. The handle is beautiful, with a wood grip. The grip has some slight wear and scratches, and shows beautiful original color. The guard retains nearly all of the original finish, and shows only very slight wear. The top of the guard is nicely maker marked. The manufacturer of this piece, 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. This WWI M1917 Trench Knife is complete with an amazing original leather scabbard. The scabbard is well marked, with the maker and date “JEWELL – 1918” as well as “H. E.” on the throat and “M. E.” on the bottom tip. The leather retains virtually all of the original surface and color, and the standard pistol belt brass attachment hook remains intact. The condition of this knife, which is over 100 years old, is very remarkable; it would be extremely hard to find a better example. This one will not last long.
Historical Description: The first official U.S. trench knife adopted for service issue was the U.S. M1917 trench knife. It was designed by Henry Disston & Sons and based off examples of trench knives that were in service with the French Army at that time. 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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