Maker: Landers, Frary, and Clark (L.F. & C.)
Base Material: Brass
Product Description: This WWI M1917 Trench Knife is extremely well preserved. It features a correct triangular 9″ black steel blade, which retains over 90% of the original finish. There are typical runner marks, and some wear to the point. w/Scabbard – This Model 1917 trench knife has a wood handle, triangular stiletto blade, and comes with original scabbard. The handle is gorgeous and very clean, with only slight wear and age to the guard. The top of the guard is nicely marked with the name of the manufacturer. Landers, Frary, and Clark (L.F. & C.). This firm 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. The wood grip is in very good condition wood, with great original color, and only light wear and scratches. The name of the original owner is indicated twice on the grip, with “S. Moore” on one side and “S. Moore France” on the other, possibly providing an avenue for further reseach on the history of this impressive piece. This WWI M1917 Trench Knife is complete with its original leather scabbard, which is in amazing condition. The scabbard is maker marked “JEWELL – 1918” with “H. E.” on the steel throat and “M. E.” on the tip. The original olive colored leather is nearly pristine, with beautiful intact original surface and color. The standard pistol belt brass attachment hook is intact. One rivet on the bottom scabbard fitting is missing. Overall, this trench knife is in excellent plus condition, an outstanding grade for something over 100 years old. It is one of the finest conditioned ones we have had t0 date. 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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